The Real Heroes — Ok, I admit it. Too often I look up to professional athletes or movie stars as a hero, a person I want to model my life after. Not only do I do this, but millions of children around the country do the same thing. There is nothing wrong with having a sports icon as one of your heroes, but the name doesn’t always fit the players or the actors’ actions.
So, what is a hero? In the ultimate since it is someone who is willing to sacrifice himself, or put his self in danger to protect or save other people. They look to serve other people’s needs above their own. They are willing to stick their neck out even when it isn’t safe. I am talking about the police officers, firemen and women, and our brave soldiers who willingly put their lives on the line for the safety and freedom of others. Let’s briefly take a look at each of these jobs.
Police officers are essential to reducing crime by having an authoritative force in place to uphold the law and protect the citizens. I realize we might not always like them, especially if they are writing us a speeding ticket, or some other sort of ticket. However, when we think of the order they uphold and the anarchy they help prevent, we really owe them a lot. On top of that, there are a lot of bad people out there and the men and women who serve is our police force risk their lives, many of them losing their lives for our safety.
Firemen and women keep small blazes from turning into huge fires that could wipe out towns or cities if left unchecked. They climb into burning buildings to save our families, not thinking of their own safety, but just wanting to get that three year old little boy out of the top window unharmed. They step in front of huge forest fires trying to prevent them from overtaking the local towns. Like police men, they are also true heroes.
Finally, the men and women of the United States military put their lives on the line to protect our freedom. Not only that, they do it for very little pay compared to other professions out there. From the Revolutionary War to World War II to the War on Terror, these brave men and women have been selfless, only thinking of protecting us.
So, next time you see one of these brave men or women, take the time to thank them for their service to our country. These people are the real heroes.
I have observed small and tall flag poles throughout the United States fly all kinds of different flags, including military flags. Now, Military flags include a number of different flags since the military has different “areas of expertise.” These include the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard and the Marine Corps. Each of these branches has their own unique banner.
The Real Heroes
The United States Army banner shows a blue colored replica of the official seal of the Department of the Army displayed on a white background. Beneath the actual seal is a scarlet colored scroll which displays the inscription “United States Army” in white letters. Beneath this scroll, it displays “1775” in blue, which represents the year in which the Army was created with the appointment of General Washington as Commander-in-Chief. The Army flag was adopted officially by President Eisenhower back in 1956.
State banners are commonly approved by the respective States whereas military banners or flags are officially approved and adopted by a U.S. President. The various military flags were officially adopted by a U.S. president during the 1950-s. Interestingly, the Air Force (’51), the Army (’56) and the flag of the Marine Corps (re-design; ’54) were adopted during the 1950-s.
The military has always played a decisive role in the history of our nation. The “Founders” were always seeking a permanent military force to protect the United States. It was not till the 2nd World War that a large organized army was “officially” organized. Today, the U.S. military is one of the largest in terms of number of personnel in the world.
Flags and banners, including military flags, are commonly manufactured from two different materials; nylon and polyester. Common sizes are 3 by 5 feet and 4 by 6 feet. Military banners are flown from buildings and non-buildings attached and flown from flag poles in all kinds of places throughout the world.
Kings Mountain National Military Park, in Blacksburg, South Carolina, commemorates an important American victory over the British during the Revolutionary War. The British military campaign in the northern colonies had reached a stalemate, so they turned their military efforts toward the South.
The British were successful in capturing the port city of Charleston, South Carolina, and began to move north into the Carolina upcountry. American Patriots from the frontier came over the mountains in pursuit of the British, who were led by Major Patrick Ferguson. He had recruited a group of approximately 1,000 American Loyalists to fight against the Patriot militia.
Patriot forces pursued Ferguson’s forces to the ridge top at Kings Mountain. On October 7, 1780 the Patriots attacked up both sides of the ridge, trapping the Loyalists. The battle took one hour, with Patriot forces losing only 28 men. Loyalist forces lost 225 men, including Major Ferguson, and had 716 captured. The battle was America’s first major victory after the British invasion of Charleston. Thomas Jefferson called the battle “the turn of the tide of success.”
The park’s Visitor Center shows a 26-minute film “The Battle of Kings Mountain,” which gives an overview of the battle. The park museum contains artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the battle and the people involved. Visitors will be able to see an original Ferguson rifle, one of the few in museum collections.
The British commander at Kings Mountain is best known for the rifle he produced. The breech-loading rifle loaded from the rear and did not require a ramrod. It could be loaded while lying down or crouching, which was not possible with traditional muzzle loading rifles. Only about 100 of the rifles were ever produced.
Children may pick up a Junior Ranger Kit at the Visitor Center. Upon completion of the activity book, they can get a patch, badge, and certificate. The Visitor Center also has a bookstore.
There are several hiking trails in the park. The 1.5 mile Battlefield Trail allows visitors to see both perspectives of the battlefield. Exhibits highlight battle events, and the trail passes Centennial Monument, U.S. Monument, and Ferguson’s grave.
Although the trail is paved, it is steep in places. There are three backcountry trails that wind through the park and into the adjoining Kings Mountain State Park. Backcountry hikers must register at the Visitor Center. There are also 16 miles of horse trails.
Kings Mountain is located off Highway 216 near Blacksburg. The park is open daily from 9am-5pm, with extended weekend hours during the summer. Admission is free. Picnic areas are available, but there are no concessions in the park.
Being a member of the United States military has always meant there was a chance that you would end up overseas. With military members in 150 countries around the world, the chances that your loved one will spend a great deal of time away from home are quite high.
Military deployments are usually several months long, but some are over a year. When a military member is separated from his family and friends, it can be very difficult. One of the best ways to show that you care and to help keep their spirits high is with military deployment gifts.
The first question you’ll probably have is “What kind of gift do I give?” There is no specific gift that will please everyone. It’s up to you to consider what type of gift your loved one typically likes and also to set a budget that will work for you. There are some gifts, such as military rings, that can cost several hundred dollars, although there are cheaper rings available, too. However, you can also find military deployment gifts that only cost a couple of dollars, such as bumper stickers.
Military deployment gifts must be able to be mailed to the country where your loved one is stationed, too. Some countries have strict laws governing what is allowed in and out of the country. If you have questions about this, you should contact the post office or the military unit that your loved one is attached to. You don’t want to find the perfect gift, mail it, and then find out it has been confiscated by customs agents.
Some great military deployment gifts include hats, jackets, and t-shirts. Almost all of the major military operations, such as Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and Iraqi Freedom, have clothing specifically designed for the deployment. Some have a humorous message, while others are very serious. There are all types of clothing available and a simple search on the internet will give you plenty of choices.
Military jewelry is also a great choice. From deployment rings and necklaces to watches and tie tacks, there are a number of beautiful jewelry pieces available for military members. Consider giving a medallion with the name of the operation on the front and the military member’s name on the back. There are also unique pieces of military jewelry, such as earrings, toe rings, and even belly button rings that can make a great military deployment gift.
Care packages are always a welcome sight for those deployed overseas. Pack a box full of their favorite treats, personal hygiene items, books, magazines, letters, and pictures. These military deployment gifts are ones that will often bring a tear to the recipient’s eyes because they know you put a lot of effort into it.
In closing, military deployment gifts will help make the separation a bit easier on both you and your loved one. Simply knowing that someone cares will mean a lot and make the time away a little bit more bearable.