I saw a well-known local Paramedic last week at a conference. He has been a Paramedic and EMS Instructor Coordinator for over 30 years. He is widely respected as a leader in EMS and about to retire. When I say Hello he has to turn his whole body to answer, because his neck won’t move. Worse, he walks around bent way over, all the time. I don’t know why and I’m not comfortable asking. But every time I see him I wonder how it must hurt, and Thank God for my good health.
He has two sons currently serving in Iraq. At the EMS Conference he simply stunned me when he shared that he had just gotten back from Afghanistan. He did a tour of duty for the State Department as a
Medic, serving up EMS for American and Afghani Police. He was driving down booby-trapped roads with little or no military support, treating the injured under wartime conditions. This guy is almost 60 years old and can’t even walk around standing up! He found a way to go serve without a Medical, and then did it.
Is a hero a guy doing his job, when the sky falls on him? Or is a real hero a guy like this, that knows the risks and does it anyway? I wish I could have said something intelligent. I was struck speechless as I listened to his tales. I still can’t wrap my mind around a disabled guy, older than me, running around dodging bullets. Both of his sons lives are on the line so what does he do? He volunteers to risk his life to equal their contributions. These are the actions of one amazing American.