Everyday Heroes

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Promark News | Comments Off on Everyday Heroes

I just finished reading Joaquin Jackson’s book, “One Ranger” about his life in West Texas as a member of the legendary law enforcement unit during a period of dramatic cultural change. His story is full of wonderful characters, some of whom have gone on while others remain in the Texas I know. Most of all, I was struck by the character of his mentors, friends and fellow officers who despite many adversities and amazing temptations, chose to do as conscience requires even when the consequences were unkind.

Most of Joaquin’s characters live quietly, going about serving their fellow citizens, raising children, making a living and making a difference. These are his heroes and he has done a fine job telling their stories.

It seems to me that a society defines itself by whom it chooses to celebrate. We should pick our heroes carefully as they reflect our own values. Jimmy Buffett says most of us are flawed individuals, left in the oven a little too long by the Cosmic Baker. I think he’s right. While many folks end up just fine, some emerge over-done and burned around the edges, while other are taken out too early, ending up half baked and working in aviation.

Within the aviation community we have our own set of characters who define what it means to be an aviator. Many of us grew up watching astronauts and reading about aces. But beyond these well known heroes are so many others, mostly unknown outside of our small circle who make aviation special. The pilots, mechanics, controllers and instructors who enrich our daily lives are my heroes.

Aviation is a passionate mistress with a mean streak. The price of a dance can be high if you don’t step lightly. These are the folks who help make sure you and I don’t have to pay that price.

Joaquin Jackson concludes his book by recognizing how much being a Ranger has meant to him and how much he misses the experience that defines who he is. He knows despite the difficulties, heartaches and disappointments that the opportunity to serve his fellow citizens and the sweet memories of doing something truly important alongside his personal heroes reminds him of life at its best.

As an aviator I know what he means.

Comments are closed.