Airman's brother asks, 'Are there still heroes in our country?'

Heath Webb Heath Webb (Editor's note: The following was written by 16-year-old Heath Webb, a junior at Rockdale High School, and brother of Airman Richard Webb. He is the son of Larry and Susan Webb of Rockdale.)

Are there still heroes? Yes, I believe that there are still heroes. Before I get into details of how I think there are still heroes, let's figure out what exactly a "hero" is.

What is a hero? I ask myself this ever y day. Is a hero someone who tries to be a hero, or someone who becomes a hero not because they wanted to? When does someone stop being normal and start being a hero?

In your minds what do you see when you hear the word hero? When I see hero, I think of one thing — military. Yes, firefighters, police officers, and paramedics are heroes, but they wouldn't be able to do what they do as well as they do it without the sacrifice of the military.

Day in and day out, the men and women of the armed forces go to work just seeing their job as a source of money, not gratitude. They don't go to their jobs to be heroes; people who go to the military to be nothing but a hero are the people that never make it.

Have you ever spent more than a week in a place you wish didn't exist? Men and women of the Air Force, Marines, Navy and Army do it every day.

The most we ever give someone in uniform is a passing glance; looking at them no different then we look at someone in a suit.

My family has given this country many of its lives throughout the many wars we have fought. I would enjoy nothing less than to stand here and tell you about them in detail and how a part of each of them thrives in me and my brother.

Someone that I think is a hero in my life and in the country's eyes is my brother, Sr. Airmen Richard Adam Webb. He serves our Air Force, day-in and dayout. He goes to work to get his paycheck. If you ask me, his paycheck is no where near big enough for what he has to do to his family.

When he is shipped out, he can't say where or when he is going or for how long he will be gone, leaving me and my family in the dark and to wonder if we will ever see him again. That, to me, is a hero — to be able to stay away from your family and them not knowing what you are doing or even where you are, sacrificing his life for the better of the country.

When we wake up in the morning and say, "Man, I don't want to go to school today. My day is just too much today," think of what people in the armed forces do every morning.

They get up put on their ACU's or BDU's, lace up their combat boots, and straighten their hat then head out to a job that requires nothing less than their full commitment.

That is the essence of a hero. Someone who will, without question, fight for the freedom of someone they don't even know, to gripe and whine about how bad their day is and how much they hate school.

Next time you get the honor to see a man or woman in the 21st century shining armor that is digital camouflage, stop them and shake their hand and tell them that they are the reason we can walk around without fear of being killed, and thank them for being a priceless defender of our great flag that symbolizes all the sacrifices and blood our heroes new and old have given to our country.

So, yes I think there are still heroes in our society. Because heroes are the pillars of which our throne of democracy sits so majestically. Without the sacrifice of heroes every day our country would not be what it is today. Our freedoms are paid for and written in the crimson blood of our fallen heroes.

This is what constitutes a hero and, if you look deep enough, you can find a hero in just about everybody.

• A hero is someone who will, without hesitation, step into the line of fire to save someone.

• A hero is someone who will never give up, even if it means their life for the greater good.

• A hero is someone who will always stand tall as a shield, to guard us from the onslaught of tyranny and the terror that is thrown at us from every corner of the world.

• Last, but not least, a hero is someone who will gladly shed their crimson blood to see the bettering of the people of this great country.

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2009-11-12 digital edition

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