Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unwrapping: Heroes

     The greatest Hero I know is my Father and today is his birthday. He is celebrating being 91 years young. My Father has lived quite a life and seen many things, some good and some not so good. He was a child of the Great Depression, and one of the first ever paratroopers in World War II. He was a proud member of the Red Devils (the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division) and jumped into Normandy on that eventful day in June of 1944. He met, married my Mother, and started his family that would later expand before being sent to participate in the Korean War. He has met Presidents, worked for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and after he retired from the military as a LtColonel, he worked in the private sector doing things we weren't supposed to ask about - those, 'if I tell you, I have to kill you' kind of things. He retired again, this time for real, and has concentrated on writing and living an easier life. He penned a compilation of personal accounts from his fellow WWII Red Devils in WE SERVED PROUDLY - THE MEN OF HQ1 and is currently working on an autobiography.

     Tom Brokaw called my parents' generation the Greatest Generation and so we should.  My Father was a hero as we think of heroes but my Mother was one, too.  She like many other women of the time, stayed home and waited, waited for husbands, brothers, fathers and friends to return from a war that cut them off completely from their loved ones. She held down the homefront while my Father was away serving his country and doing his duty to keep us free. They are among the unsung heroes among us that never asked for recognition yet deserve to receive it. 
    
     Heroes in Romance Novels come from all times and all places.  There are historical figures, Regency figures, contemporary heroes some featuring military men, service men such as policemen and firemen, and paranormal heroes. We love them all and enjoy the places they take us in our imaginations. 
     
     We love Romance Novels because of the strong heroes and heroines they provide us with that pull us into a life which we would otherwise not be acquainted but if we look around us, we might surprise ourselves. There are real heroes living heroic lives who are just fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and best friends. We know the heroes from September 11 and pay them tribute, I hope, each day. But there's also the hero masquerading as your neighbor who gets your stranded cat off the roof or mows your lawn because your husband suddenly died. Or the hero stranger that stops along the road to help with a flat tire or gives up his place in line because you have more items than he does. There are the loved ones that care for us and are there when we need them.  

     My husband is my everyday hero.  He goes to work every day, working long hard hours and comes home tired.  Every so often, for no reason other than he wants to, he brings me flowers or picks up something at the store that he especially thinks I'll like. When he's around the house, he does chores and is there to reach those things up high that I can't reach.  For all of the things he does and because he loves me, he's my everyday hero and always will be. 

     I try to do something nice for someone whenever I can ... hold a door open for someone even if they don't have their hands full, comfort someone when they need it or just say 'hi' and give a smile when someone is looking a little down.  We can all be heroes if we try.

     How about yourself? Do you have a Hero in your life? Perhaps you've been a hero to someone else ... have you ever reached out and done something for someone else without being asked and without asking anything in return?

     Happy Reading Everyone and Happy Birthday Dad!

My Mom and Dad - how about this for Romance - they've been married for 63 1/2 years.

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