LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) -- I was recently picking
up a few items at a local retail chain at lunchtime; everywhere I
walked, someone wanted to shake my hand or say, "Thank you for your
service." It made me proud to be wearing the uniform of the U.S. Air
U.S. Air Force
"Be A Superhero" graphic by Robin Meredith and photo by Staff Sgt. Russ Scalf
While waiting in the checkout lane, I noticed a little
boy shopping with his mom was staring at me from his perch
in the cart. I smiled and said "Hello," but he just kept
His mom apologized and explained he was
crazy about people in uniform, and his hero was Captain
America. She said he watches the movie over and over and
puts on a little uniform to defend the house.
"I think that's a good hero to
have," I said. As I answered, it got me thinking we need to
act more like superheroes.
OK, stick with me here.
That doesn't mean that we should put on capes and masks and
climb to the top of the roof to see what dastardly deeds
need to be thwarted. Your spouse would most likely tell you
to "Get down before you hurt yourself," and "Take off that
getup before the neighbors see you."
What it does
mean is we need be worthy of kids' admiration -- like a
superhero. So, here are a few things about superheroes we
need to know:
1. Superheroes never believe their own
write-up. They are humble (except when fighting a bad guy)
and neither flashy nor boastful. They save the day and
retreat to their secret lair (office or flightline in our
2. Superheroes help people. Whether it's a
neighbor needing help painting a fence, or the lady in the
grocery store that can't quite reach that box of cereal, we
need to lend a hand.
3. Superheroes are respectful
towards the public. They use manners, say "Yes sir," or "Yes
ma'am," and open doors for people at restaurants.
Superheroes live lives kids can look up to. They don't lie,
cheat or misuse government credit cards. They set examples
for other to follow, and they do the right thing even when
no one is looking (sounds like "integrity" to me).
Superheroes are always there. They always have their
friends' backs no matter what else is going on, even in the
dark of night (sounds like "service before self").
Superheroes are in shape. Have you ever seen a chubby
superhero? The bad guys would kick his butt! The public
wouldn't have much confidence in an out-of-shape superhero,
7. Superheroes always do their best.
You'll never see a superhero slacking, or saving only enough
people to make it look good. They give it their all every
time, and people take notice (sounds like "excellence in all
If you have ever seen the movie "Hancock,"
you have seen what a superhero is not. The protagonist, at
first, is all about himself -- he's a drunk with a bad
attitude, thinking he is above the law. The public has no
faith in him, and he quickly loses faith in himself.
With the help of people who care about him, he becomes the
superhero that, deep down, he knew he was capable of
becoming. Maybe you know someone who, with a little help and
direction, can live up to their potential (sounds like
"leadership" to me). Sometimes he or she is the person in
the mirror. Realizing it, facing it, accepting it and
working on it are often the most heroic actions of all.
The point is that when you're off base and in uniform
you are easily recognized as a member of the U.S. Air Force.
Kids look at your uniform and are in awe; parents look at
you and hope that their son or daughter will follow in your
footsteps, and seniors thank you and appreciate that you're
continuing to carry the torch to keep our country safe.
We should all act as though we're in uniform even when
we're not and display the same hero-like qualities we're
capable of, no matter what we're wearing. Let's all act like
superheroes and truly earn the respect and admiration we're
given every day. Think about it.
By USAF Chief Master Sgt. Brian Bischoff
22nd Air Force, Det.
1, Air Force Reserve Command
Air Force News Service
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