Who do you think of when you hear the word hero, movie stars, athletes, musicians? What about everyday people that walk among you?

Last week I met someone that I would consider a hero.  I met an individual whose spirit, determination and attitude that I admire and seek to emulate.

As we started our conversation we exchanged the usual, how are you? And I responded with ‘any morning I wake up is a good day because above ground is always better than the alternative.’ He responded with a similar answer but ended it with “especially since I’ve experienced almost dying.” So I asked him to elaborate.

He shared that he was in the second Gulf War and was shot 5 times. As if that wasn’t’ shocking enough he then went on to share that he was shot as he jumped out of a plane attempting to parachute in to enemy territory and that they also shot his parachute, causing him to fall 800 feet to the ground as his parachute spiraled out of control. He hit the ground bounced a couple of times and then lay there for several hours before being rescued. It was a miracle that he survived.

Fast forward 20 years and he’s earned 7 degrees and is working on his 8th. One degree being in ballroom dancing, against all odds because he had been shot in his knees and was told he would never walk again. He’s also started several businesses and now he is giving his time back by mentoring business owners.

I was inspired by him and this post is dedicated to all the other everyday heroes that that we encounter in our lives. The ones that have endured more than most could ever imagine and have now found pursuits bigger than themselves. The ones we should all aspire to be like.