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Everyday Heroes

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought attention to the heroism that is a daily part of war. Each and everyone of the men and women serving are heroes and I wouldn’t want to lessen their contribution. 
There are heroes on the battlefield and there are heroes in everyday life. All too often the everyday struggles are overlooked as just a part of life. We tend to believe there is nothing noteworthy in the daily labor of living. I see heroes at every turn. 
The courage that it takes to step away from the norm and do the things we do is nothing short of heroic. In a world of economic and emotional depression my grandmother lovingly cared for a flock of turkeys that eventually helped save the ranch. She and my grandfather endured the loss of two young children but raised four strong children assuring a legacy beyond themselves. Another set of grandparent’s love was greater than the opposition to that love. They ran off to be married and in doing so created a future that brought me into this world. They are my heroes. 
Heroism is a 35 year-old single woman traveling from central Kansas to Mexico City to adopt a baby boy. Heroism is that same mother and son returning Oaxaca, Mexico, seventeen years later to find a grandmother who had lived these past seventeen years thinking that little boy had died. Our futures unfold with unexpected challenges that test our spirit in subtle ways. 
Our sons and daughters are the heroes of the next generation reaching out to form a new world that will grow from the spark that flickers within. I saw that spark this past weekend as I held my 6 month-old grandson, Marcus Allen Koetkemeyer. The words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address flowed from my memory with a feeling I could never fully express. Marcus’ eyes fixed upon the sound of those words. He gazed intensely as the President’s declaration confirmed that this country had been “…conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” His eyes seared my soul as though he understood every word. Just a grandfather’s imaginative bias, you may say. I say, “Within the soul behind those eyes of perception a hero is waiting for his time…”. 
So Long, 
The Cowboy 


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