We almost always think of firemen as heroes. Right now thousands of them are fighting wildfires across the land; saving people, saving homes, saving animals. Back almost eleven years ago thousands of them rushed into two burning towers to save as many as they could. And in the process many gave their lives. Heroes all. Last week I learned of a whole firehouse filled with a sixty year history of being heroes.
Tony was thirteen when he first wandered into Fire Station One in Lansing, Michigan. Tony was hungry and alone that day. Tony was also mentally challenged. Those firemen fed him and before they sent him on his way they asked if he’d like to come back sometime when he was hungry again.
“Yeah,” he said. And the next day he returned. And the next. And the next.
It’s now sixty years later. Tony has a job that fits his limited capabilities, and a place where he sleeps, but home is at Fire Station One. The men there are his family. But, to me, those firemen are heroes. Heroes all. The men of First Station One saved Tony as sure as if they’d pulled him from a burning house.
It often doesn’t take much to be a hero. Sometimes a kind hand up, a pat on the back, a meal to someone who’s hungry, a caring heart can make you a hero.

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