A Hero to All of Us

February 5th, 2012

I met the biggest Hero of my life today. It was an incredible honor! His name is Michael Fox. I met Michael’s dad, Tweed, a few days ago, while on one of my coffee breaks from The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes. Tweed asked me if I could talk to his son. Before he finished his sentence, my mind went to the thought that his son might be having a hard time in school or that his son might have a problem with drug use. That was not at all what Tweed wanted me to talk to his son about.
Wherever I am during the course of the day, I make myself very visible. The Kindness Bus is an advanced guerrilla marketing tool. The Kindness Bicycle extols the values for the issues it represents. I wear a highly self explanatory jersey. And when I am at a coffee shop or restaurant, I pick a table that everyone has to walk by and I strategically place my literature in full view to try and start conversation with as many people as possible. Tweed chimed in first as he was in line near my table. “I’m wondering if you can talk with my son Michael. He is Marine Corporal and he is at Balboa Naval Hospital.” In a nanosecond I had an answer for him. Tweed gave me Michael’s cell phone number and we talked soon after.
Michael is a Hero. He is more patriotic in his mid twenties, than most people are in their entire lives. Michael chose to become a Marine to protect our freedoms. Freedom to live the life we live right down to being able to ordering a triple venti skinny mocha with no whipped and be able to complain about it when it isn’t just perfect.
Michael and I met a couple of days ago. It has been nearly 12 weeks since Michael stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan. Michael lost both legs just below the knees to that IED. Many surgeries later and now learning to walk again with two prosthetic legs, Michael is amazingly upbeat. He is even talking about going to Florida to fly fish in the very near future.
Michael and I talked for an hour about family, honor, role models and both of our plans for the future, both short term and long. Tweed was quoted in a recent newspaper article that Michael will make something good come of this. Reading that quote, one could tell of the high standards Michael was brought up with. We shared many smiles about life and many other stories. Michael even bragged that he is gonna have a Bluetooth knee. I went to Balboa to thank Michael and he ended up thanking me. We are getting together in a few more days on my way north through San Diego. Thank you Michael for being of the highest moral character and being a Hero to all of us.
Complaining about that triple venti skinny mocha with no whipped being not quite perfect seems pretty flippin’ trivial about right now.

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