My List of Super Heroes Do More Than Just Fly!

We’re all familiar with the typical list of super heroes including Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man. For years, these three, along with many others like them, have comprised a long list of super heroes, who’ve defined the culture of multiple generations of youth. Millions of children have learned positive values like responsibility, kindness, and chivalry from this acclaimed list of super heroes. And that’s a good thing. For, as long as movies, television shows, books, and comics keep being made and written, featuring this list of super heroes, they’ll continue to teach and enchant generations of girls and boys to come.

However, on September 11, 2001, a new brand, and list, of super heroes was born. Technically, they’d existed, quietly working to keep us free, safe, and protected, long before that horrifying September morning. But it was their unfailing courage and sacrifice, captured on television and Internet feeds, which brought their heroic status – their heroism – to the national, and international, consciousness. I’m talking about our military service people, our firefighters, and our police. They have become my proud list of super heroes.

Navy Sailors – My List of Super HeroesCredit:

List of Super Heroes - Our Military

Since the American Revolutionary War, our military has been protecting, and upholding, our freedom. Currently, all those brave, and patriotic, men and women, serving in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy, go on my list of super heroes. From the lowest ranking Airman, Seaman, and Private, to the highest ranking Admiral and General, they ALL fulfill vital roles in defending America, and they’re ALL to be commended for what they do. Without each, and every, one of them, doing the job they do best, we wouldn’t enjoy ALL the freedoms we do today.

Next time you’re out, and about, and you encounter a military man or woman, do what I do, and say a proud ‘thank you’ to these list of super heroes for keeping America safe at night. It’s because of you, that I get to sleep in a warm bed, safe from harm, while you serve in conditions that I could not even begin to fathom, while maybe never savoring the luxury of a good night’s sleep.

Whenever I’m suffering with, and from, one of ‘those days,’ I remind myself of my blessings, as they relate to my list of super heroes in the military:

When my contact lens rips two, seconds before I’m supposed to be out the door, I remember those service people who are now permanently blind from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

When I cuss, because I just broke a fingernail before an important business meeting, or social function, I remember those service people who’ve lost one, or both, arms – usually, too, from IEDs.

When I moan, because I pulled a calf muscle during my aerobics class, I remember those service people who’ve lost one, or both, legs – again, typically from IEDs.

When I get ready to leave a nice restaurant, only to see that it’s pouring rain, and I’m wearing brand new heels, I remember those service people who are paralyzed and will never walk again. Some are even quads, and they’ll never be able to feed themselves, much less walk.

If you can’t visually imagine any of the above injuries, or have never met any wounded military service people, then take a few minutes, and Google the name ‘J. R. Martinez.’ Martinez is a former Infantryman with the Army. He was injured, badly burned, by a landmine in Iraq. Now, a motivation speaker, he’s also acted on the daytime soap opera, All My Children, and he’s currently, (Fall 2011) starring as a participant on the show, Dancing With the Stars; his dancing partner is Karina Smirnoff.

Martinez is a proud American, and Veteran, who’s living proof of the bravery of our military service people, and he’s a testament to their power to overcome, be it our enemies of freedom or a personal, devastating injury. He, like all his fellow service members, are Stars on my list of super heroes.

In addition to all those on active and reserve duty, each, and every, one of our veterans also goes on my list of super heroes. So, as you think about gallant men like Martinez, don’t forget to also thank all our other veterans - young and old – when you see them, whether they’re from World War II or the current War on Terror.

And if you’re like me, and would like to do more than say a mere verbal ‘thank you’ to this list of super heroes, and you don’t want to only remember our veterans on Veterans Day, then check out this idea. Contact your local military installation/base, or military hospital, and ask how you, as a civilian, can support our troops, and show our veterans, wounded and all, that you care.

Firefighters – My List of Super HeroesCredit:

List of Super Heroes - Our Firefighters

Picture this:  It’s 3 am in the morning. Outside, it’s snowing, like there’s no tomorrow, and the streets are coated with what looks to you like a mile high pile of ice. And now, your wife’s just gone into labor – early! She needs to get to the hospital ASAP! Who do you call? Santa Claus and his Reindeer? Sounds sweet, but that’s not a likely scenario.

No, whom you call is your local 9-1-1. And with your call, your local firefighters and/or EMTs come to your rescue – the next group of ‘supermen’ and ‘superwomen’ on my list of super heroes.

Depending on where you live, in this great country, your local firefighters may be volunteer, paid, or a combination of both. They also may serve in actual ‘fire fighting’ roles as well as EMT/paramedic roles.

Little boys, in particular, dream of becoming firefighters, while teenage boys dream of being firefighters because they think it’s cool and manly. And young girls…well, just love those ‘hunks in a uniform.’

But these list of super heroes are so much more than just that Hollywood-ized version. They are real people, with real feelings, real frailties, and real families, just like the rest of us. They are mortal, those on this list of super heroes.

And nothing was more of a testament to that mortality than on September 11. Most of us witnessed the horror of that Tuesday, via our televisions, from the security of our homes, while those fearless list of super heroes rushed into the burning North Tower and South Tower of the World Trade Center. They rushed in to save lives - their fellow humans - knowing, full well, they may never emerge again. Never emerge to hug and kiss their wives/girlfriends, children, and parents. And sadly, many on this list of super heroes never did.

Not every emergency firefighters/EMTs confront is on the terror, and horror, scale of September 11, but every situation is dangerous, because fire, itself, is unpredictable and dangerous. And the life of every firefighter/EMT is special to someone.

Recently, I had a problem with my gas hot water heater. Like many homeowners, I appreciate the benefits of natural gas, but I fear its explosive/flammable properties. So, not wanting to take any chance with life and home, I called my local firefighting/EMT Station. And what did my local list of super heroes do? They immediately came to my home, switched off the pilot flame, and answered my questions. They couldn’t fix the problem, as they weren’t licensed repair techs, but they did everything, and I do mean, everything, in their power, to ease my fears.

So, want to say a big ‘thank you’ to your local firefighter/EMT unit? Then do what I do. Regularly take a homemade, or store bought, if you’re cooking challenged, treat, to your local list of super heroes. They work long hours, and like with many others, food is a welcome comfort. Say a hearty thank you, with a hearty, tasty treat!

Police – My List of Super HeroesCredit:

List of Super Heroes - Our Police

A couple years back, while driving across country, to take a cruise to Hawaii from California, I was pulled over in Colorado, and issued a speeding ticket. In all my #&% years of driving, I’d never gotten a speeding ticket!

I was horrified! I was shocked! I was angry! My husband laughed, and my young adult daughter raved, for several miles, over how ‘hunky’ the officer was. Needless to stay, neither of them were much support. And I didn’t, after all, deserve the ticket…I was only going fast because I was going down one of those steep Rocky Mountain hills!

Jokes aside, those of us who’ve been pulled over all complain about cops. It was, of course, never our fault. But think, for minute, all the risk those cops, those list of super heroes, take when they pull over a stranger? And think how much safer our roads are because they stopped that drunk/sleepy/reckless driver who, five minutes later, would’ve caused a deadly accident.

And our list of super heroes, on the police force, does more than just patrol our roads and highways. Like the way our military protects us from foreign enemies, our police protect us from domestic ones. In so many ways, from schools, to shopping malls, to neighborhoods, to everywhere, their steady, reassuring presence is there so we can enjoy a carefree day shopping with our girlfriends.

Recently, in my area, two people have gone missing – an elder person and a child. And who was there, first and last, seeing the search through to the end, and bringing both parties home safe to their loved ones? My local list of super heroes in the police department were there, as they are everyday, for every citizen.

Give this list of super heroes a thanks and a hand. When you remember your firefighter/EMTs with a treat, don’t forget your local police precinct. And give them a hand, and crime the boot, by being an active member of your local neighborhood crime watch program. After all every great hero, ever contained on any list of super heroes, has a sidekick!

List of Super Heroes - In Closing

Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man are all cool. But, to me, the coolest list of super heroes are those incredible men and women who are our military, our firefighters, and our police.