I’ve been fortunate in my life to meet a lot of true, honest-to-God heroes…

People, who when you look at the impact they’ve had on the people around them and their surroundings, have changed the course of history — be it as small as one person’s life or as big as fundamentally changing the culture of our society.

As the saying go, not all heroes wear capes — and more than likely — you know more heroes than you probably realize…

In fact, you may be one of these heroes yourself. You may not understand just how important what you do — and who you are to people — truly is.

We tend to take some of the people for granted…

We may not see them as a hero when looking at the surface, but upon further inspection — you’ll eventually see how incredible their contributions to our world have been.

One of the biggest segments of “heroes” that rarely get their due are the fine men and women who put their lives on the line daily as a police officer.

When do we hear about an officer’s heroism? Normally, when they do something obviously heroic — like taking down a gun man or stopping a crazed driver from running down civilians…

However, we rarely see their day-to-day job as anything heroic.

But each and every day, these men and women put their lives on the line for us. Each and every day, they put on that uniform, which could be their last, due to the hazards of their job — not some freak accident.

Which is why we should value them so much.

My friend Kyle’s dad was a police officer — a retired NY/NJ Port Authority cop that came up on the mean streets of Brooklyn — and a hero, especially to Kyle.

If you know anything about the Port Authority, you realize just how important they are to not only the security of New York and New Jersey…

But to the whole of the United States as well.

Kyle’s dad, Robert, worked for the Port Authority during New York’s most perilous times — through the 1970’s and 1980’s — when crime was rampant and the Big Apple was one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

His contributions to our safety can never be counted…

But, unfortunately, after retiring, Robert contracted cancer. It was aggressive. He and the family rallied to try and fight it off — but unfortunately — God had a different plan.

So, as most families do when having to cope with a terminal disease, they went about trying to spend as much time with Robert as they could. Kyle used that time to do things with his father that could make lasting memories.

I was lucky enough to be along for one of those occasions when Kyle took Robert shooting at a local gun range…

Kyle had just gotten a new Benelli shotgun, and we were all itching to fire it.

Now, at this time, Robert had gotten weaker from the disease and wasn’t’ the man who was taking down criminals just a few years before…

But when he fired that gun for the first time, he looked back at Kyle and I and let out a few expletives with a grin from ear to ear. We weren’t looking into the eyes of a cancer patient at death’s door…

Looking back at us was a vibrant, excited Port Authority cop that looked ready to take on the world.

It was an incredible moment.

It almost felt wrong for me to be there, like I was intruding on this very precious and limited time that Kyle and his dad had left…

It was this hero’s last dance.

And I will forever be grateful for being there.

This is a tribute to that hero — something they all deserve — and I’m happy to have the platform to do it.

 

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” – Bob Dylan