Ten Hut! Superheroes in our midst
July 2, 2013
We Americans love our superheroes, as evidenced this summer with the return to the big screen of two favorites from my youth, the Lone Ranger and Superman.
Times were much simpler back in the 50's and there were a lot fewer choices on television, but the character traits of courage, loyalty, honesty, charity and kindness kept us coming back for the next episodes.
As a child, I would learn that my Dad left college the weekend after Pearl Harbor to enlist, then became a pilot and flew 183 combat missions, dropping paratroopers and gliders from his C-47 in Western Europe. He was one of 3 out of 39 from his basic flight school who survived the war. He became my hero.
Fast-forward to today where we at Brooke Army Medical Center serve a large population of heroes , from World War II to the Global War on Terror, who are all endowed with those same character traits, after serving bravely and sometimes with great loss to protect our freedoms. That's the motivation that keeps us working hard every day to serve those who have sacrificed so much for us. It's a privilege, and they inspire us with their great spirit.
But we're not alone today and we know it. The people of San Antonio and a huge number of Americans have shown their admiration and appreciation by building the Center for the Intrepid and the Warrior and Family Support Center, where today's heroes can rehabilitate and join their families for meals and activities of all kinds.
Donations continue to pour in to support our recovering warriors, over $3 million gifts and services over the last two years. This can be in the form of a hunting trip to Alaska, a fishing trip in the Gulf, a ski adventure in Colorado, or a surfing trip to California to name a few.
The show of support doesn't stop there though. Our heroes are visited by presidents, firs t ladies, governors, top military and civilian leaders in the Department of Defense, movie stars, and professional athletes from a variety of sports. The San Antonio Spurs are frequent visitors and have played wheelchair basketball and built a strong bond.
Further evidence that the public today values our returning heroes is the amount of media attention they receive. News media from across the nsanation travel to San Antonio to cover their hometown hero who is recovering at BAMC. Local media continue to cover every Purple Heart awarded to a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.
So, when you and your family are out enjoying the latest superhero creation from Hollywood this summer, remember that you live amongst a large population of heroes who have helped protect the nation and the freedom and prosperity we all enjoy today.
And to all our superheroes, take a look in the mirror and know that you can honestly sing the line from Donovan's hit song in the late 60's: "Superman and Green Lantern ain't got nothing on me…"