What Makes a Hero?

Well, that’s a smokin’ good question, isn’t it?

We all know when we love a hero! Oh mylanta, Western heroes abounded when I was a kid. Some were on repeats, others were TV shows still being produced, but they were everywhere. It was Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood) and Little Joe Cartwright (Bonanza, Michael Landon) and then Maverick (James Garner) and then TV kind of morphed away from cowboys to doctors.

Doctors everywhere! And they weren’t ridin’ horseback.

But I still crushed on so many of them, LOL! James Brolin in Marcus Welby, MD and St. Elsewhere and E.R. and M.A.S.H… I’m sure there were others, but there weren’t so many cowboys around for a decade or so.

And as the 2000s rolled in, it became a time of fewer heroes. Or maybe I was working so many jobs that I didn’t happen to see them, but it was a time of Seinfeld and Friends and Full House and Will & Grace and it wasn’t until Marvel and D.C. Comics began rolling out Superhero movies that heroes came back in style.

Oh, there were stories about Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher and Mission: Impossible, but I don’t remember a lot of true hero profiles, and that seems wrong, doesn’t it?

The world needs heroes.

We need heroes.

We need heroes now more than ever!

We need to think of their being men and women who will risk even the ultimate sacrifice for humanity’s well-being.

And that’s what’s manning our front lines in the medical and first responder world today.

Heroes.

Men and women who are donning masks, gowns, gloves and fighting for the lives of thousands of Covid 19 patients.

These aren’t made-up heroes, although there will be books and films and TV shows singing their praises.

These are the real deal. The new pinnacle. The new front line.

So today, respecting those heroes, male and female, we’re lifting our prayers for them and the patients they serve…

And I’ve got three copies of my newest Western “Learning to Trust” for three folks who dare to tell us what they think of our current frontline superheroes… they’re wearing facemasks and faceshields in place of cowboy hats, but they look marvelous!

 

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Multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne lives on a small farm in Western New York surrounded by grown kids, cute grandkids, cats, dogs, chickens, frogs, toads and snakes. That's why writing Westerns doesn't scare her. Not one smidge. Because she's surrounded by critters of all sorts, and has been known to teach lessons on snakes as available... She started writing Westerns by accident/invitation, and L-O-V-E-D it... matched with her love for both historicals and contemporaries, Ruthy's working on a new Western series for Love Inspired, New England mysteries for Guideposts and her historical Westerns for the indie market in 2018. She loves God, her family, her country and absolutely, positively loves what she does!

51 thoughts on “What Makes a Hero?”

  1. All first responders sacrifice themselves and their families to serve and protect strangers every day. Most at least know this. But, lets add the doctors, nurses, x-Ray techs, lab techs, nurse aide techs, cleaning staff, maintenance workers, food preparation staff, laundry, PT, social workers, the clergy, pilots and ambulance drivers, and all of their families to the hero list. Some are superheroes. All deserve our thanks and gratitude.

    • First responders and healthcare professionals are definitely heroes. Not taking away from their importance but they are doing the jobs they were called to do. There are other heroes out there now who probably never envisioned themselves with that title. Food service workers, grocery workers, truck drivers and volunteers. Everyone in these roles has stepped up to the plate. Each of these folks are exposed to possible contaminants every day but they continue their jobs to keep our communities functioning. God Bless them all.

    • Well said, Jerri Lynn. Thank you for all the folks you added. The cleaning and maintenance staff particularly get overlooked, but it takes a huge village to care for the sick in hospitals! And every one a hero!

    • I have to give a shout-out to the teachers and para educators who are doing the very best they can to reach their students where they are, and use new-to-them technologies in order to see and interact with their students. My children’s teachers have gone above and beyond to make this transition as easy as possible for the kiddos.
      We pray daily for all those in the medical field, and are so so grateful for them. But there are some pretty amazing teacher heroes out there.

  2. What a great blog. My heart just breaks because I feel so useless with all that is going on. Our frontline hero’s right now are such selfless warriors. Giving their lives and safety for others. My heart goes out to all of them who are sacrificing their lives and having to be away from their loved ones to take care of the sick patients. I have 2 cousins who are nurses and I understand their calling to help.
    I pray every night for everyone who are working the frontlines, those who are infected with the virus, and for the families of those who have succumb to this horrible virus.
    May God watch over each and every one of them and all of us!

    • Tonya, I think prayers and staying home are helping those heroes. Maybe not as much as we wish we could help, but it is doing something. Never forget that!

    • Tonya, so beautifully said. We look back in history and see these kinds of things in the Bible and in human history: black plague, yellow fever, malaria, tuberculosis, polio…. And the AIDS virus, SARS, MRSA, but to be caught in the midst of a worldwide pandemic that shuts down economies, we’ve never seen something like this… and now that we have one virus that’s done this, there will probably be more because this one is similar to SARS in many ways, only more rugged, more secretive, more clandestine and more virulent. None of which is good! So yes, God bless our front line folks, and the people manning our stores, our markets, etc. They are front line heroes, too!

  3. Modern Day Heroes are what all our health care workers are. Working with limited or no protection for themselves is being Heroic. God Bless these workers for their dedication and spirit. There are enough words to praise these angels. Be safe everyone.

    • Sorry last line should say there “aren’t” enough words.Spell check is doing it again. Second sentence should be “is Beyond heroic”.

  4. Great blog! I’m on my knees praising God for those in the medical profession that are risking their own lives trying to save COVID-19 patients as well as trying to protect the other patients in the hospitals. I have a niece that is fighting for her life in a Nashville hospital as we speak with a new cancer diagnosis. We also have one of our own P&P followers that is hospitalized right now. Not only are medical staff, the cleaning staff, the kitchen and all the employees at hospital, the personnel at testing stations, grocery store employees and all essential employees all over our nation risking their own lives but they’re risking the future of their families lives as well. We as a nation now know who should possibly be making more money than they do and should be respected more than they are. I’d love the opportunity to read your book. As a side note, we need more cowboy and western series on tv. I think the success of Yellowstone has proved that!

    • Stephanie, I agree on all counts…. first, prayers for your niece in Nashville, we know that fight too well. May God hold that sweet girl in the palm of His hand!

      And you know, my husband has worked in the grocery industry for fifty years… He retired two years ago, but still works at the store 16 hours/week… until he got sick in March, and we had to keep him home. He’s hoping and praying for the test to show antibodies because he wants to be back there, but we need to know that he already had Covid 19 (there were no tests, and it was a really interesting couple of weeks). But having said that, my prayers are with everyone fighting, but I’m so sorry to hear that one of our followers is in the hospital. God bless her! Thank you so much for telling us that, sweet Stephanie!

      And yes to Westerns.

      Yellowstone, yes, and look at Heartland? People love it!

      We are silly to not have more shows like that coming from American TV. Don’t they know we’d actually watch them???

      From Ruthy who watches NCIS and The Voice and Call the Midwife (which I love!)

      We could use some solid wonderful westerns and/or farm/ranch stories… or great historicals. I miss those, too!

  5. Those on the front line really are today’s heroes. They are putting their lives on the line even more now than then did in the past.

    • Exactly!!!! I have two electric candles on the front porch, a social media thing to show support for those on the front lines… Because we can’t physically help them, but we can help them by staying home and not becoming a statistic.

      God bless them, every one!

  6. I think our healthcare providers (and support staff) are definite heroes today, but I also think we’ve got a lot of heroes in our communities helping to take care of others by making masks, providing school lunches, picking up groceries for elderly family and friends, and more. Honestly, I think it’s easier than ever to see heroes today and that’s what gives me hope right now.

  7. I greatly appreciate all the essential workers. Keeping us safe and keeping us fed.
    My daughter is an essential worker . she works for the employment service.

    • Estella, what a great point… thank you to your daughter! And keeping us safe, fed and healthy are the number one factors right now… and maybe it shows us that the other stuff was just a lot of “fluff”…

      That it’s the basics that matter.

      Faith, hope and love….

      We are blessed.

  8. Yes these workers that are out there is definitely heroes today. Yes this includes the first healthcare workers. We also have to think about the people that are working in the grocery stories that are putting out food for us. They are out there stocking shelves for us and people are so rude to them because they don’t have what they need but they are also doing the best that they can right now. Please be kind to these people. God bless all these people in the front lines.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. They are such a blessing to us, all of them. My DIL and her mom work in a Wegmans bakery…. my nephew is in another Wegmans meat department. My husband is in grocery. So yes, these folks are taking the risk by being out and about and punching the clock.

      Thank you, Lord for each one of them.

  9. Heroes run to the battle. I’m grateful for our first responders, the medical community, our military and those in key positions. May the Lord protect and bless them and their families.

  10. hubs is first responder and volunteer fire fighter and these are very scary times as he is also main person with his elderly father and his brother both still in their own homes!

    • Oh, Teresa, God bless him for taking the time to minister to Dad and Uncle…. and yes, it’s a challenge to take care of those homes, those aging men, their needs, especially in a time like this. We know one elderly man who is convinced he’s being held prisoner.

      He’s not suffering from dementia, but fear, because he doesn’t really understand that someone can tell him to stay home and he needs to do it. He can’t drive anymore (at 91) and he’s pretty sure his daughter is lying to him, even though it’s on the news.

      He sees a conspiracy.

      But he’s not sure who’s conspiring.

      So that fear in the elderly isn’t something to be taken lightly.

      Thank hubs for us!!!!

  11. Our daughter is a front line worker. Just yesterday, finally, she was fitted with an N-95 mask. I am so thankful and proud of her. Our heroes aren’t actors or actresses, they are real life HEROES; easing the suffering, fear, and pain of fellow Americans. Our country owes them gratitude and respect. I salute them, our country, and our great God who is with us every minute of everyday.

    • Kathy,

      Please thank your daughter for all she’s doing right now. While you are rightfully proud, it’s not easy as a mother seeing your child put herself at risk. I felt that way both times my oldest son was deployed. No matter how old our children are, we moms always worry. I’ll pray for you both.

    • Kathy, amen to all of that.

      I use N95 masks on the farm when I’m cleaning chicken coops, etc. Or building things. I had ordered a case a year ago. I had a half box which I kept for us, but my son and I donated the full, unopened boxes from my case to a hospital E.R. They came out and clapped for us… A little thing, with wonderful repercussions. And then they sent us a thank-you note with over forty signatures.

      I’m glad we kept six masks here but I wish I’d had more boxes upstairs.

  12. Ruth, thank you so much for doing this fabulous post and saying what so many of us are thinking. I’d like to add all the delivery people, grocery store employees and warehouses workers shipping all the items we don’t feel safe going out to buy. I keep thinking of grocery store employees since my oldest’s first job was bagging groceries. These people often are making minimum wage. Now they’re risking their lives to keep grocery stores open for the rest of us. I hope after this is all over, we as a society reevaluate how we see some of those jobs and we realize how crucial they are. What a wonderful thank you so beautifully said.

    • Julie, you’re so right. I mentioned above that Farmer Dave has worked in grocery in WNY for 50 years, and did so until he got so sick on March 8th… and then the sickness went to pneumonia, his right lung filled… and then a double sinus infection. So the poor guy really had a rough time. Doc thinks it was probably Covid, but we won’t know for sure until the antibody tests come available and I don’t dare send this 66 year old back into the store to catch it if he didn’t already have it… needless to say, he’s chomping at the bit.

      But my DIL and her mom both work at Wegmans bakery, and my nephew is a butcher at another one, and they’re their, all the time.

      So many folks can’t come to work or can’t risk it… so they’re working extra hours to help out.

      So that’s more risk…. but they see the need.

      God bless them, everyone. Trying times tend to make for true heroes.

  13. I have many friends and family that are nurses, and I know quite a few doctors and others on the front lines, too. I have friends that sew that are making masks for the ones on the front lines. My heart goes out to them, knowing what they are facing. If I was not home with Mom as her caregiver, I’d be out there, too, in my roll of support personnel, though some of those can work from home now.

    • We need those folks home, taking care of the Grammies and Gramps, too!

      My son does all the running for Dave’s mom.

      Picking up prescriptions, groceries, tucking them in her garage, then she comes out and gets them when he’s gone.

      89 years old, living at home, and not driving, but thank heavens we have Zach available to help her out.

      I think of all those folks in NYC in poverty-stricken areas who have succumbed to this dreadful disease, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a Zach or a Jon (son-in-law) or a Lacey to get everything for them and make sure they were safe at home.

      What a difference if you have to go out and fight the crowds, especially in those early days… and now we say goodbye to so many of them.

  14. Right now, anyone who HAS to work is a hero to me. I think of all these people who want to be home with their families but can’t because they are serving others. Even workers in grocery stores and gas stations! However, those who are health care workers are definitely the most vulnerable because they are putting their lives on the line for others. One of my good friends is an infectious disease specialist doctor in Las Vegas and he was just telling me (through Facebook) that he’s actually living in a motor home next to his house because he doesn’t want to infect his family so he doesn’t even see his family other than through a window! He works 15 hour days at the hospital, sleeps a little, then is right back at the hospital again!

  15. There are so many heroes today. I would add that even the people who are abiding by all the shelter in place and quarantine orders are heroes by doing their part to prevent the spread of this pandemic. My husband is our family’s hero. He’s a doctor, getting out there in the middle of all this everyday to care for his patients and doing his best to keep from bringing it home to us.

  16. You are so right, Ruth. I grew up on westerns, first on the radio, then TV and in theaters. I’ve never gotten over my crush on the Old West and never will. Enjoyed your article.

  17. Yes the first responders are our heroes. I am so great full for them, and so glad I am not one of them. What they are having to go through daily is too much to comprehend. I also want to remind everyone of our other heroes our Military men and women who are also still doing their jobs of protecting our country, you are appreciated. And for those of you not aware, while the teachers and administrators are at home the cafeteria workers are still at work providing food to our children please don’t forget us as we are so often overlooked. Be blessed and stay safe.

  18. Growing up around a police station and firehouse, those individuals have always been heroes to me… now with what is going on, I see them being braver than ever and am extremely thankful for all that they do to help us all!

  19. So many great comments today. I am also very appreciative of the many local businesses that are struggling but are still giving dollars and items to support this battle. In our area restaurants have given food to police and fire departments as well as hospital employees. Fabric stores have put together kits that can be picked up and taken home to sew masks. We are truly all in this together,worldwide.

  20. It is hard to imagine how these workers feel every morning or evening as they prepare for their shifts. They know it will be a day of heart ache and death. A day of fighting what is often a losing war. They know they do not have the supplies they need and even though those in charge at their facility and at the state level are trying, none are likely to come any time soon. They work to exhaustion knowing they will be repeating again tomorrow. They worry about getting the virus themselves or bringing it home to their families. Many have sent their families away or are staying elsewhere so as not to take a chance. The focus has been on the medical personnel and first responders who are on the front lines of the response. There are many other heroes who are often forgotten. Those who are necessary to keep the basic services going but do not receive the support or protection the medical and first responders do. As much or more at risk are the support personnel at the hospitals. Those that are exposed because they do the cleaning of patient rooms and the rest of the facility. The mortuary workers who transport and perform final services for the dead. The transport personnel keeping the buses, trains, taxi’s and car services running. The cashiers and stockers in the grocery stores and pharmacies that make it possible to get the supplies we need and help the elderly who need it. The postal carriers and especially the clerks. All of these people are putting themselves in harms way so we can get what we need and they are becoming ill and dying. So many of these people earn near minimus wage and have no financial safety net. How unfair that they must put their lives in jeopardy for so little. Getting personal here – my daughter is a postal clerk, her husband a rural carrier. The carriers were given gloves and guidelines early on. In our area, nothing was done for the clerks until Monday of last week. They had no sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, or masks. There was none available to buy on her own. Thank Heaven for some of her regular patrons who brought in small packets of wipes and small bottles of hand sanitizer for her. Getting people to keep the 6 foot distance has been nearly impossible. ( Sorry personal rant and concern.) This is a reflection of the situation so many other workers find themselves in. A big shout out is due to those in the business community who have stepped up. The support for the medical and first responder has been heartening to see. Hotel rooms being donated for them to stay in so they do not have to go home and worry about endangering their families. Meals being delivered so that concern is eliminated. It has been wonderful to see the outpouring of support and appreciation being shown by the community in general. We can hope this feeling of appreciation and community continues after the pandemic is over. It has brought out the goodness in so many and made us all appreciate what we have and what others do for us. (Going stir crazy with no break from children and spouses is another story) It is a reset society has needed for some time now. Take good care of yourself and stay healthy.

  21. Yes, they aren’t just Hero’s, they are Super Hero’s and Thank God For them! My daughter is a nurse at our local hospital , where for a little over a year she has been working in the hospital Pharmacy. My son in law , our daughters husband is also a nurse he is an ER nurse, but God is Very Good and He will take care of them and All our Hero’s who are Care Givers and everyone else. All my hope is that we learn very good lessons from this and that we take this learned lessons to Heart and not take anything or anyone for granted. God Bless us All. You all stay safe and take Care. <3

  22. I pray for all those helping others in so many different capacities. And I’m grateful for Dr Fauci for keeping us well informed and instructed.

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