Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Real American Hero

I have a hero. I grew up with him and we were close friends through high school and during our young adult years. Since each of us got married and started families, we rarely see each other. But since we live not far from each other, I hear news about him.

Let me tell you why my quiet, unassuming friend is one of my heroes. We both used to work at the same bank. When I went on to find employment in the accounting field, he went on to start his own business. He has built his business over the years to the point that he makes a decent living.

When you see government figures on how many new jobs have been created during a given period, you can know that the vast majority of those jobs were created by small business entrepreneurs like my friend. It is people like him that take the risks to start and keep small businesses running that make it possible for the rest of us to have jobs where we don’t have the stress of being our own boss. It is people like him that are the backbone of the American economy.

I salute all law abiding entrepreneurs. If that were my friend’s only strength, I would admire him, but might not class him as a hero. So there’s more to this story.

When my friend graduated college, he joined the Navy as a reserve officer. For two decades he has served our nation in the Navy. He has been deployed for long-term deployments a number of times. He expects to serve for another five years or so and to see more long-term foreign deployments.

Last night I ran into my friend. I asked him how he can run his own business and yet be deployed for a year at a shot. He explained that he has a couple of employees that are very trustworthy, and that when he is deployed, he puts the matter into God’s hands, expecting that God will help do what is best. If it turns out that his business falls apart while he is gone, it will all be for the best. He figures that he has enough experience at business that he can simply try his hand at something else.

That, my friends, is a real American hero. His supportive wife is another hero. Thank God for people like my friend and his wife.

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