What Makes a Hero?

Andrew - Menomonie, Wisconsin
Entered on November 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, gratitude
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The word hero can have a variety of different meanings. Heroes are great because they can be iconic figures, role models, or simply everyday people like you and me. How many times have we heard “You’re my hero!” uttered by someone or seen supposed “heroic acts” performed by people on the news or in athletics? The misconception is that a hero has to save someone’s life, or do something incredibly out of the ordinary. To me, a hero is there for you day after day, enhancing your life for the better. For me, my greatest hero is my father, Robert Olson.

Ever since I was little, my father has made a point of being involved in every aspect of my life, as well as my siblings’. He made it to every sporting event, every dance recital, every parent teacher conference, and every graduation, all while working hard for the family as my mother stayed at home to take care of us. There were financial highs and lows, but I could always count on my father to be there and be positive in any situation. He worked as hard as any man could to support the family, and for that I am grateful.

My father has worked for Pepsi Co. for the past twenty five years of his life, showing dedication and loyalty; two traits that are prominent in all three of his kids. He has also taught me the value of having a close knit family, and I’m better every day for having a strong bond with my entire family. The life lessons I’ve learned from him throughout the years have molded me into the strong, respectful man I have become today. Heroes take ordinary people under their wing and make them something, and my father took me under his wing from birth up until the day I had to leave for college.

That brings me to the present. I never thought I would miss being around my father as much as I do now. I miss the times we would watch the big game on the couch together. And the times he would vent at the dinner table to the family about work. But the circumstances I’m currently in make it that much more special when I visit home again. My father will always be a huge part of my life, and for that I thank him. I will always count on him for advice, and I know he will always deliver. For all of these reasons, I believe he has molded my life more than any other single individual, and for that, I believe that my father is a hero.