It is so easy to revere professional athletes, movie stars, and other professional entertainers, who make tons of money and have so many possessions. From expensive cars to huge mansions, celebrities really seem to live the high life.
It is great this nation allows for such freedoms that make it possible to become wealthy by playing sports, acting in a movie, or recording music. However, somehow so many in our society have allowed these professions to become the object their affection. People will spend hundreds for a night out at the movies, with $10 movie tickets and the $11 popcorn combos. They will spend $75 or more for their favorite team jersey, and hundreds to attend a sporting event. And hundreds more are spent for tickets to attend music concerts to see a favorite artist. I remember a time (when I was a kid) during the 1970s when it cost 75 cents to see a Sunday matinee, and not much more for popcorn. Something seems really out of balance these days.
While no one will deny the talent of our celebrities and the interest they pique, and happiness they may spread by performing in their craft, clearly, hardly anyone seems to believe their compensation is reasonable and appropriate. Rather, in so many cases compensation for celebrities seems quite excessive. For many, celebrities may even serve as modern day heroes, but not for me.
My heroes are those men and women who serve the public good. Our teachers, nurses, police and firefighters and many others like them. My heroes are the folks who wake up everyday to go to a job they may not be crazy about, that may not pay all that well, in order to put food on the table and to provide support to their families.
My heroes also are those who serve or have served in the armed forces. Their reasons may be many. Perhaps they did not have money to attend college, or maybe they could not find employment. Maybe they felt the urge to just do something to make our country a better place to live, or perhaps it was always a childhood dream to simply serve. And they do it all on such meager pay.
Regardless the reason, for the difficult testing and training our vets endured. For the uncomfortable and inhumane conditions they lived under, for their travels to foreign lands to fight in arid jungles, scorching deserts, and freezing mountains. For the mental and physical injuries they sustained during service and combat. For the bureaucracy they endured upon their return when attempting to access services. For the things they have seen and done in order to survive that we civilians will never understand. For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice during their service in a foreign land by giving their lives for their fellow men and women back home.
Thank you so very much for your service! You will always be the nation’s real heroes…