Posts Tagged ‘hero’

Five

Friday, March 4th, 2011
Walking Among Us

Walking Among Us

This is the sixth installment in the series on many loves. It is on Heroes.

The world seems to have  a real thirst for heroes. Artist Hilda Kilpatrick yesterday, asked me what the word hope meant to me. I told her that hope was seeing the future as the way you would like it to be.

Heroes inspire that in us.

Though I have lead a life that has had me in the company of champions, and people that always seemed to be the best in the world at what they do, I must admit that none would consider themselves to fit into that category. In fact, most would seek obscurity if given the chance. Sort of the opposite of our cultural world view, where we seek and desire to elevate these who believed, when few else would have thought to.

A hero does what needs doing, when no one is watching. They are a best case example of what happens when Faith comes to abide in the human heart. Hope opens the door to Faith. Faith in turn swings wide an entirely new realm of possibilities for the future. It will kick you down the right path when maybe, the true direction is not so clear to the rest of your world.

These days I continue to be surrounded by heroes. Some of the brightest examples are in my Community and exist in places and under cover of a disguise that is nearly impenetrable in it’s obscure and sublime design.

Though unrest exists as never before in this country and a huge dis satisfaction with Governance has arisen, sometimes rightfully so (It is within the regular process of maintaining a Republic), I see the tenets of heroism even in my town’s City Council and Mayor’s office, as they struggle to determine the correct direction for Ventura’s philosophy of leadership.

And within the cultural tableau of this town resides a true community of heroes, people who soldier on as the place groans with the weight of change. Many will never know what these people have invested and risked, so that this place will once more thrive and be a healthy, welcome, warm harbor for a world that has too few left on the California Coast.

Harbor Haven

Harbor Haven

If you ever want to see what a hero looks like, check your world for the one who serves you.

My colleague and friend, Shawn Alladio of K 38 Rescue, lectures repeatedly that we are to be like janitors. In rescue you come in, be un noticed, quietly and efficiently clean up any messes, do any repair that needs doing and leave. That is heroism in action: servitude. She leads a global community of janitors. I like that.

Shawn Alladio

Shawn Alladio

My friend Ed Brenegar, who fronts the Community of Leaders had this to say on the subject.

I have never been particularly fond of cops.  The thought of a black and white generally does not evoke the warm fuzzys. They are literally the ones who, when push comes to shove, must enforce the peace and be the face and hand of the Law. It has to be one of the single toughest jobs in the world today. It is a career which by it’s nature, affords great opportunity daily, to be society’s janitor, and at the same time, be scorned for it.

But in my lifetime some of my deepest inspiration has come through the examples set in the way some Law Enforcement people lead their lives.

I always say that no good deed goes unpunished. The crux of heroism is in the comprehension of that, and retaining both the willingness and skill, to do what needs doing without fanfare, because that is what matters to you.

I keep a list. I look at and see everything. That is my job, seeing. My hero’s list is incredibly long. I think that some people reading this blog would be very surprised to find their names on that list. But that is how I see it, and them.

Seth Godin, describing the scenario for heroism.

Peter Gabriel, in a sonnet for the people who challenge the reality in Haiti. Sent to me by Hilary Minias. Several very close friends of mine have been working quietly on the wreckage of Haiti. Alleviating suffering.

You have to love heros. Not many will.

USCG Stan Team, K38 Training, Astoria, Semper Paratus

USCG Stan Team, K38 Training, Astoria, Semper Paratus

Repose

Monday, December 7th, 2009
Repose

Repose

Our lives are a lot like that of a wave, in how we roll through the sea of life, in an ocean of existence, headed for some place. But unlike a wave, we have choices we can make that determine our final destiny. Those choices determine who, and what we are, because we learn from them. Hopefully making for a somehow “better” you and I. The ability to choose is what makes us human. The desire to select by principle, can make us something else.

In the Gospel there is a key saying that has always spurred me when I needed it: “Faith without works is dead.” I sometimes need the spur to be taken to me. My friends and subjects are generally quite happy to oblige.

A simple e mail had dropped into my G mail in box mid week. It was from Venturan Steven Schleder, someone I had met in the course of our recent city elections. The crux of the message was: :”Are you still going?” The letter was in reference to a Memorial service for Col Lewis Millett. A man who had dropped everything and come to Steven’s aid several years ago in a quest to restore a desecrated graveyard in Ventura. You can read a little about that here via K38 Rescue’s blog. My home town did something vile in it’s past. Many believe that honor dictates the desecrated graveyard be restored somehow. Steven had been the sole man to charge up that hill. The city understandably, sought to marginalize him.  Now there are many more behind him. The number swells as our honor bound friends hear the sordid tale.

When I agree to shoot something, I know that my simple “yes” means anywhere from 2-5 days worth of work. In this case I had said yes 6 days prior and promptly shelved the affirmation. (I had forgotten about it.) Steven also asked if I could maybe shoot motion. Imagine a slot machine and all the little icons whizzing by.  Ding ding ding! That was my psyche the day I realized that my own word had snared me. Okay I would shoot a film now, in addition to stills.

A quick e mail to my partners and colleagues asking for someone to step forward, brought three responses from three men. Tyler Swain and Rob Dafoe would do it if there was no other. Aaron Marcellino said that though he had just arrived back in town by train that day, and was moving into a new house, he would be at my door at 6:30 Saturday morning with his motion kit. We have a good group. Any of us would come at a moment’s notice for another’s project. Each person has mad skills.

Aaron and I arrived at the Riverside Memorial which stands overlooking March AFB at 9:30 am and dragged our gear a 1/2 mile or so and without a word, fell into our separate production roles.

What passed before my eyes remains burned into my psyche. It will make for a great short film. I look forward to completing it. You can read more about Col Millett here.

If you have never been to a Military memorial, please take some time and look at these images. We made them to honor Col Lewis Millet: Medal of Honor holder, but much more than that, a man of God who earned his repose in a dedication to country, family and honor, out of love for his fellow man. No, the irony does not escape me. It enforces just how important this country and a true moral compass heading are.

This beautiful piece was sent along by my old friend, Terry Irwin. It says a lot about the human condition.

As we head towards Christmas, maybe ponder a little bit about sacrifice, love and strength. Have you made a choice about who and what you will follow? What shore you will wash up on?

Here is a beautiful piece about Christmas and small honors leading to great things.  Think about the beat of the snare as you see the casket headed for the dirt of a cemetery. Now think about someone bulldozing the thing. My town did that. They made it into a dog park. Bad choice.

Howitzer detail. Grave field.

Howitzer detail. Grave field.

Shawn Alladio.

Shawn Alladio.

How will your epitaph read?

How will your epitaph read?

From Drew Kampion:


A Song for Occupations
by Walt Whitman

(1819-1892)



Will you seek afar off? you surely come back at last,
In things best known to you finding the best, or as good as the best,
In folks nearest to you finding the sweetest, strongest, lovingest,
Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for
another hour but this hour …


Peaking, in Seconds and Feet

Saturday, May 30th, 2009
Shawn Alladio

Shawn Alladio

Just got a call. A visceral scream was the first thing I heard. Someone unloading into their phone and I was the recipient. Confusion, alarm, concern, all the keywords one goes through when you know something bad has happened to the person on the phone with you, flashed my psyche as dread fell upon me.

I  then realized that Shawn Alladio was the gutteral scream. She was in her car, naked for the most part, burned, bruised, in shock. We established a rapport and I began to talk her down.

It is 12:15 AM. I am now wired and beyond alert. Shawn had rung off as she reached her home in OC. I knew that she had just done a long day at sea with the military in an appreciation day that her company, K38 Rescue had just put on.

In her weary drive home she had rolled up on a flame wall on the 5 Fwy. She said that she had driven through it and that it looked like Armageddon. Pulling up to a burning car she got out and saw movement in the flames. Grabbing a prybar she broke the window and grabbed at the squirming flame ball that was a man. She said his hands had looked like candles as they burned.

There were bystanders and she screamed for help, but as sometimes happens no one moved and as she managed to gain control of the flaming man she began to pull him out and his foot caught in the debris. Screaming at the bystanders, they finally broke from shock and jumped the two.  As they dragged the guy away, the car exploded.

“I smell David, I smell like fire and burning flesh, I think I fractured my arm, I am almost home”

Shawn thought that the car had punctured it’s tank in a collision with the guard rail, setting off the tempest. I am taking a sip of vodka right now. It burns and rasps my throat. I am worried about my friend.  Emotionally peaking myself, because I love her and can do nothing. But knowing Shawn,  I understand that she will be all right. Eventually. Someone lives tonight, albeit in agony, because Shawn was where she was supposed to be. It is her lot, this sort of thing. Lucky guy.

Shawn always lectures us that rescue (and life) is all about seconds and feet. You have seconds in which to assess and feet in which to react. Tonight once again she illustrated her point. Seconds and feet.

The images below are from the K38 Liquid Militia get together at Dos  Pueblos Ranch on the Gaviota coast over Memorial Day weekend.

On first glance you would think it is a bunch of speed freaks and water gearheads going whack. You would be wrong. It was simply Shawn building esprit de corp, skill and teamwork with her tribe. You and I should be so lucky, that if we ever need a hero, any of them showed up. The thing with Shawn is, she always comes. Always faithful. The list of things that she has accomplished is so vast, and she is really so guarded about it, that I smile when I think about how in trouble I probably am,  for writing this blog this morning.

What is a hero? Someone prepared to give all, with skills available that increase the odds of their success and you seeing your loved ones once again. I love the way the dictionary describes the term below. Funny really and incorrect in this case.
hero |ˈhi(ə)rō|
noun ( pl. -roes)
a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities : a war hero.

This first image below dropped into my in box in the wee hours. Shawn had shot it before the EMT’s took over. That is a couple who are covering the victim with a blanket.  She walked back to her truck and drove away. I guess she maybe wasn’t sleeping either. Amazing.
This video was sent to me through Twitter. It describes Shawn’s life stance perfectly. I am blown away. It is all of us.

Recovery: On scene image C Shawn Alladio

Recovery: On scene image C Shawn Alladio




I rarely do addendums. Here is Shawn’s letter to our team this morning. It says more, back to front than I could, right down to the signature at the page end. And after, some friends and fellow trainees, all of them more accomplished than you would ever imagine. Shawn enhanced their already impressive skill set in her courses.

Thanks All,
I finally got to sleep early this am, and I’m resting.  I couldn’t get this man’s image out of my moments, I really don’t have any injuries to speak of.  I think I was flushing a long exhausting day, lots of emotional connectors from 2 days of hard work, little rest, then this man’s situation, just topped me.  I don’t have any pain at all, but last night was intense, I think most of it may have been emotional or ‘psyche’ driven.  That’s an honest statement.  I’m a bit banged up but cool.  Will rest today and thanks for your thoughts.  I did call Mark, Pirate, and Mike, and David, was trying to text to Ryan but I couldn’t make my fingers work. LOL I gave up on the texting and calls, I couldn’t get connections.  It’s behind me now, but this man, it is forever. I am going to get dressed and go to Starbucks of course and get a double shot of something, then go over to the hospital to see if he is ok. I hope he has not lost his sight, that seems to be in my thoughts a lot.  I will never forget, and we all should appreciate today with profound interest and joy. That is the message in this man’s situation, no crying…get out and about and change the world today, for surely you know not what comes next.
Love to all my friends,
shawn“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in time of moral crisis”

-Dante Alighieri
(Italian Florentine Poet)

http://www.K38WaterSafety.com

The Life You Save May Be Your Own


The boys. Military Ap day. K38

The boys. Military Ap day. K38

A beautiful thing. Military Ap day. K38

A beautiful thing. Military Ap day. K38

Shawn, Brad Colbert and the boys. Yesterday !

Shawn, Brad Colbert and the boys. Yesterday !

Carlos Burle, Maya Gabeira, and Shawn. ORT, Morro Bay

Carlos Burle, Maya Gabeira, and Shawn. ORT, Morro Bay

Us in ORT at Morro Bay

Us in ORT at Morro Bay

usaf_pararescue

Post night ops, Military Class

Post night ops, Military Class

When you are the boss

When you are the boss

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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