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True Heroes

Everyone has one at sometime in their lifetime, and as we travel it's highway our personal outlook in most cases change.

I'm talking about heroes, someone we grant great admiration because of one or more of their qualities.

I've begun to really see that although a hero may shine in a certain aspect or light he or she is ultimately one thing, a flawed and fragile human being that more than not will stumble from the burden of being a hero or just plain and simple lack of good judgment on his or her part.

Let's examine some of these people and their well known lack of judgment. I expect I'll get some verbal backlash from this so I will be fair and start with one of "my" flawed Heroes-Mark McGwire.

Yes Mark thrilled the fans when we needed him most by slamming oodles of home runs.

Recently, he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs and tainted a stellar career due to it.

With that said I must, as a St. Louis fan, remind you all of a bat exploding cork on home plate at Wrigley Field, oh the shame.

Here are a few of those other flawed heroes: Michael Jordan, Tonya Harding, O. J. Simpson, Kurt Cobain of the rock group Nirvana, and oh yes, Tiger Woods. I really would be amiss without voicing that.

I can't understand after the past couple of years events how parents can buy their children jerseys of the current quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, nor buy them music CDs of the rap artist, Lil Wayne, who admits that his so called best stuff is written while intoxicated or high on illegal drugs.

These are not your true heroes.

I've loved to watch sports for years but should we call them, "heroes?" My better judgment says, "no."

Within the past few months I've thought about this and have come to realize that my personal heroes have been right here at home and in La Harpe as well.

My parents, Cecil and Maxine Hilton, had the courage to adopt me and raise me into, hopefully, a man of fairly decent quality.

Dad served in the U.S. Army during World War II, then returned home to work his land as a farmer to provide for his wife and two sons.

Mom taught school in the La Harpe school system for many years and probably quite a few of you are reading this right now.

I think they qualify as true heroes and I love them very much and am honored to be their son.

Which then leads me to my last hero, a friend of mine, whom has stood by my side through all my trials and tribulations.

He stood by and endured and shared the experience of some, of my many zany adventures.

In 1991 he joined the United States Army and is due to retire in November after a stellar career and four tours of the Middle East.

He also became Airborne and got his jump wings because I had mine. I'm talking about SFC Gary Jackson, who I have looked up to all these years.

He has put his life on the line for ours and was willing to give up his for our freedom.

These are my true heroes, and I will forever be grateful for them standing by me.

So, to all those parents who stand by their children, and to all the servicemen who serve our country, God Bless.

Joe Hilton