Fourth of July is in two days, and even if you aren’t from the USofA, then you know what it is, because we like to make a big deal out of things. Especially our birthday!
I have always been a patriotic kid, largely in part of me being born on one Air Force Base, and then moving to a different one every two (or so) years. Being raised in the military culture, I don’t feel I was brainwashed, but instead I was able to see a lot of different parts of America, and even some of Asia as a child, and it helped form a lot of what it means for me to be an American.
On this site, I like to focus a lot on the “superheroes, sci-fi, and swords” as I like to call it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also look at the heroes in this country and everything they do and sacrifice, just like those we see on the screen. So I’m gonna do a little bit of both.
Heroes in Stories
Captain America – Army
The obvious mention, is of course Steve Rogers. Someone who wanted so desperately to serve his country during World War II, that he went through a serious medical experiment, that turned his body into the perfect soldier. But it’s not his body that makes him the perfect soldier, it’s just the vehicle that he uses. Steve has always focused on a couple core ideals, one of which is “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.” We see this a lot in the movie The Winter Soldier. I could go on and on about Cap, but instead, here is an article titled “Why Captain America Is My Role Model.”
The Punisher – Marine Corps
We see a different side of heroes with Frank Castle. He went into the Vietnam War because of his hero, Captain America. He trained to be the best at his job, but in war, if you don’t have the strong moral backbone of Cap, things can go wrong. You can start doing things for the wrong reasons, and you can come back with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Frank never turns his scope at innocent people, but he does resort to murder and vigilantism. Whether or not this makes him a hero still is up to each of us individually, but whatever you decide, he sacrificed who he was, for a war the government regretted, because he wanted to serve his country and protect it’s citizens.
Green Lantern – Air Force
Switching over to DC, we have Hal Jordan. We never get a good look into his military career, but we know he was a test pilot for the Air Force, as well as flew in the Korean War. It’s the skills he learned while in the field that helped him become not just the first human Green Lantern, but one of the best Green Lanterns ever.
Finn – Imperial Navy
This might seem an odd fit on this list, seeing as how FN-2187 was a deserter from his military service, or how it was for a facist regime. But those two combined are why I think he still fits. When he joined, he did so because he thought it was the best way to protect the galaxy. When he realized that that was not true, and they were killing innocent civilians, he left, and joined a military cause that had the true heroes of the galaxy. Being in the service doesn’t always mean blindly following orders. It means being willing to sacrifice everything for the safety of those who cannot.
Heroes In Real Life
I talked a lot about the military, because it is Independence Day coming up, but heroes aren’t just the folks going overseas to protect us, it’s also the ones stateside who take care of us.
On 9/11, there were 2,977 people killed, but 412 of them were emergency workers. Firefighters, Police Officers, Medical Technicians, men and women who gave their life to save others, on one of the deadliest days in American History.
A friend of mine’s dad was a police officer, who was investigating a car crash one day. What he didn’t know, was the car that caused the crash was stolen by a man who had just committed murder hours earlier. Officer Boyer was shot and killed by the driver immediately.
Every day there are men and women who give everything they can so that the rest of us can write about superheroes all day if we want to.
There is a lot of politics going on right now around police lives and brutality, border patrol agents, and other government officials who are doing what they can for what they think is right. Some of these people are bad people, and do not deserve respect, but make sure you remember that there are people who are doing the right things for the right reasons, who just have bad coworkers.
Regardless of your political opinions on all of this, make sure this July 4th, you thank a service member for protecting your freedom from threats abroad, and a first responder for protecting you from domestic threats as well.
Happy Fourth of July.