It was a tough weekend. I lost a good friend of mine to a plane crash. Staff Sergeant Austin Anderson died after saving a friend of his from the wreckage of the burning plane. You can read the article here.
I met SSgt. Anderson when I went to M.O.S. (Military Occupational Speciality) School. He and I were going to school to be generator mechanics. We shared many experiences in the Marine Corps after that, all the way up until I got out of the Marines last August. We kept in touch online after that.
We here at Five and Dime talk about super heroes. We talk about them often. We just watched The Avengers save the world on the big screen. With all the heroics in comics we forget what it takes to be a real hero. It takes incredible strength of character to put others before yourself. That is especially difficult in dire circumstances.
SSgt. Anderson was a real hero. It’s not only because of his sacrifice, but because of his character. He was a source of inspiration to many. He raised the spirit and motivation of everyone around him. He was always there for a deep conversation peppered with side-splitting laughter. He was a big influence on me and my Marine Corps career. While I was shocked and saddened by the circumstances of his death, I wasn’t surprised by his heroism because it was consistent with his character and the way he conducted himself everyday.
It was a privilege to have known him. He will be missed.