Recently I read a comment left on another forum/blog that said only troops in combat deserve to be called heroes.  I don’t agree. I read about heroes all the time who do not wear a military uniform fighting in one of America’s endless foreign wars.

I could talk about Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela, but I want to focus on every day, often unsung heroes.

For example, recently I read about four heroes and none of them wear a military uniform.

The first hero is an eight-year-old boy named Johnathan Bent who “ran through the [burning] building, banging on neighbors’ doors, including his mom’s, waking everyone up. … ‘This little kid is amazing. He actually really saved people’s lives’, said neighbor Sean Johnson.” Source: wsmv.com and New York Daily News.com

The second hero is Anne Mahlum, the Founder and CEO of Back On My Feet. This 501 [C] 3 non-profit organization was founded to use running to create self-sufficiency in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. In late June 2007, Mahlum founded the organization at the age of twenty-seven.

Every morning, founder and avid runner Anne Mahlum waved hello and ran past a group of homeless men. Then Mahlum decided to contact Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, the homeless shelter where these men were living, and invite the men to join her on her runs.


The third hero or heroes was a group who risked their lives to save a man who fell on the subway tacks in Boston.  “A man seemingly accidentally walked straight onto the train tracks, falling unconscious as a result of his scary plunge. But immediately, the waiting crowd sprang into action. After failing to get the man’s attention, two people jump onto the tracks to pick the man up. Another person enters the frame from the opposite platform to give the final helping hand needed to get the lackadaisical man out of danger.” Source: Yahoo News.com

The fourth hero was Abdul Haji, a 39-year-old real estate executive who rushed to the mall as the attack got underway. He managed to evacuate scores of people to safety, including that young American girl, Portia Walker, and he is being hailed in Kenya as a hero. Source: ABC News

But Haji dismisses all the talk of him being a hero, saying he was just going to the mall to save his brother. “I think anybody in the situation would have probably done the same thing,” he said.

Every time I hear the word hero, the first hero I think of is a U.S. Marine I learned about at MCRD when I was training at the Marine Corps west-coast boot camp in San Diego. At the Chosin Reservoir—when I was age five—during the Korean conflict, fourteen Marines, two soldiers and one Navy pilot received the Medal of Honor. The Marine I’m talking about who earned the Medal of Honor  was private Hector A. Cafferata Jr.

Cafferata [now age 84] made a target of himself under the devastating fire of automatic weapons, rifles, grenades and mortars; he maneuvered up and down the line and delivered accurate and effective fire against the onrushing force, killing fifteen, wounding many more and forcing the others to withdraw so that reinforcements could move up and consolidate the position. He single-handedly held off a regimental-sized enemy force and annihilated two enemy platoons after most of his comrades had fallen.

Tell us about your heroes.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

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