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Family Heroes!

Val Pimentel Flores. My hero is my father the late-Val P. Flores. Born May 16, 1930, at Fort McKinley, Philippines. His father was a soldier in the US Army Philippine Scouts and became a survivor of the Bataan Corregidor Death March and POW camps. My father's upbringing in American history and culture gave him the basic knowledge of the principles of freedom and equality. In 1966, we immigrated to the US, and my dad almost immediately got involved with social causes. He was a picket captain for the United Farm Workers and was friends with Larry Itliong who along with Cesar Chavez started the UFW. My dad was instrumental in changing the policies of the US Navy that practiced discrimination against Filipino sailors by limiting their opportunities by relegating them to jobs as stewards, cooks, and storekeepers. Tens of thousands of Filipino sailors benefited from his fight in seeking equality for them. Later, my dad helped fight against discrimination and prejudice in employment and housing helping create the first affirmative action programs in the San Francisco bay area in the police and fire departments, civil service, Humble Oil (Exxon), Standard Oil (Chevron), the building and skilled trades, and other private/public industries. His compassion for others less fortunate than him was his driving motivation.

My dad. He is my hero because I want to be exactly like him. He is also my hero because he is always there for me. Dad if you read this, I love you, and I always will. There is always a place in my heart for you.

Jumi Kim. She's my wife, and she never ceases to amaze me. I'm so impressed that she accomplishes anything she sets her mind to, and I marvel at how she takes care of our daughter and me with so much love, devotion, and wisdom. She's definitely my better half.

My Mom Is My Hero. I am a mother of five and have been married for 27 years. I work for the school board and am now in the process of earning my Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. If it had not been through the up bringing of my mom, with the help of God, I don't believe that I would have accomplished my achievements, I have strived so hard for thus far. Who is my hero! My Mom Is.

Kristie & Jeff. These people are heroes to me because they were my foster parents, and they put up with me for 2 years. I feel that these people are not only a hero to me, but a hero to other kids and teenagers that lived in their home that were in foster care also. Remember me always. Nicole K.

My mom. When times get tough so does my mom. No matter what, she is there for me, ready to live up to God's expectations and to her own. She never gives up and has influenced so much that I have done and the person I've become. Thanx. Hannah.

MY MOM! She is always there when I need help.

My family is my hero. I have 2 younger brothers, and they are my best friends. We can always depend on each other whether we need a small or big favor.

My husband. He encouraged me to start my own business.

Mom and Dad. They are always there for me... and always try to do the best of everything... they encouraged me to do bunch of good stuff... and I love them for it... love you mom & dad.

Mom. How do you define hero? Many people have different definitions, but my definition of hero is one word, Mom. Helping things when things are happy and when things are sad. She is always there. First of all, my mom is caring. Though sometimes we get in disagreements, we always get through. When I'm hurt she helps any way she can. When I have something to do, she always helps. Also my mom is a hard worker. She does her job well, and gets things done when they need to be done. She is never late, and she never gives up. She is also out going. She is always smiling on stage, like it's the happiest day of her life. She is brave, going to different places she has never been before. Being caring, a hard worker, and out going, I would consider a hero.

My sister Anesa! She is wonderful! -- Edi

My whole Family. They help me in case of trouble, they are always by my side. -- Ruth B.

Olga Ochoa. She always helped someone when they were down. She is the best mom. I'm Thankful. I love you soo much. -- Love, TATIANA R.

My daughter. She brings joy to my life. -- Mom

My Uncle. He took me on my first camping trip, and we had a lot of fun.

My family is my hero. I have a loving husband, and three wonderful, sweet, beautiful, and amazing children. I am inspired by them in everything they do.

My mom. She's always there when I need her!

My sister, Brenda, is my hero. She is strong, kind, and caring. She has always been there for me, and I know she will continue to be a shoulder I can lean on. I still smile and laugh whenever I think about our first "camping trip" in our backyard when I was eight years old.

MY GRANDMOTHER. She's my hero because she was always there for me, and I thank her for that.

My Parents. My Parents have been here throughout my life helping me for the things I need and *WANT*. Things they don't even have to do, they do it ~ Just for me! I LOVE YOU!!

My dad. He's my hero because he has always been there for me through thick and thin. I love him, and I can always turn to him whenever I am sad or having some trouble with school or anything else. I love him with all my heart and always will.

My mom because she is always helping animals when they are hurt. That's why I love her. -- Jocelyn Mansfield.

My brother is my hero. He is always helping me when I need help. He is the best brother in the world.

My daughter Beth. She has had several surgeries on her knee, and like Picabo Street she has tremendous determination to control the pain.

My brothers are my heroes. They are my best friends, and we always stick together.

My children are my heroes for being kind and caring people. Jill and Rob volunteer their time with so many great causes and organizations. They truly make in difference in the lives of other people.

My hero is Dana. She cares about me, and she is my best friend. She helps me when I need help.

My whole family because they help me and my friends.

My dad. I've always wanted a puppy, and I just got one for my birthday. My dad is teaching me how to take care of my new puppy, Chuckles. My dad and I walk Chuckles together, play with him together, and give Chuckles a bath together. I love having a puppy. And I love spending time with my dad.

My mom and dad are my heroes. They are kind, helpful, and caring people. I have three brothers and sisters. My parents are always taking care of our needs.

My dad because he helps me do my home work when I need it done.

Our Parents. In our advisory class, we nominated our parents as our heroes. Some of our parents share the responsibility of raising us and some of them do it on their own. In every case, they give their time and effort to see that we have what we need and even most of what we want. No matter the circumstances that they face every day, they see that we are well cared for in every way.

My two year old grandson, Ryan. Ryan strokes my white hair and murmurs, "I love you granmudder." He tells me I can "fix" anything, especially him when he is sick. When I feel down, his bright brown eyes and intimate smile make it all okay. Yes, he is my hero.

My mom. She is my hero because she takes care of me when I'm sick, helps me with my homework, and she hugs me when I'm lonely. I love you!

My Grandma. My grandmother has been by my side from day one, and she is still here. I love her with all my heart.

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Military Heroes!

Ryan Beaupre. My cousin, Ryan Beaupre, is my hero. He always had that great big smile on his face that lit up the whole room. He always loved to fly. When the war started, he wanted to help our country. He got killed due to a helicopter mechanical problem. He will ALWAYS be remembered. Ryan is my hero, and I love him!

Ryan Beaupre. Ryan Beaupre was a great person. He was so happy all the time, and the one thing that he wanted to do was fly. So he joined the Marines. Now he was serving his country. He got sent down to Kuwait to fight in the war in Iraq. On March the 20th, his plane had a mechanical problem and crashed. The Friday following that Thursday, everyone found out what had happened, and it was a day that no one would ever forget. Ryan Anthony Beaupre my hero!!!

Lt. Thomas Adams. Never had the opportunity to meet this "Hero" but I would like to thank him for his service. An American Hero.

SPC Larry Adams, Jr. Serving in the US Army out of Fort Hood, TX. Hometown Ingleside, TX. -- Lisa Smith

L. Cpl. Whipple. He went off to fight a war. I can't wait for him to return because I would like to see him again. I was living with my dad when my mom got remarried. I met him once before he left. I can't wait for the end of this war, so I can see him again. I love you Tommy.

Donald Moyer. Donald was a soldier in the Korean War who gave his life while saving the lives of others. He was awarded the Congressional Metal of Honor.

Jessica Lynch. She went into the army wanting to get a free college education. Now not only does she have that, but she has risked her life for our country.

Sgt. Kenneth A. "Who is this man?" you may ask. Kenneth is my future husband. My love for him has consumed my daily tasks, way of living, and my very being. He is my hero for all his courage, love, truth and honesty. For all the love he has bestowed upon my heart, he is my one true hero. Before he was deployed in late February, 2003, I made sure to let him know that he would always be the Hero of my heart. We said our goodbyes and expressed our love and how much we couldn't wait to see one another again. Kenneth, my prayers are with you. Come back home. I love you.

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Olympic Heroes!

Michelle Kwan. She is a truly inspirational person. After all that she has gone through to make it to the point that she is at now, is just so amazing to me. She is so determined and never gives up. She always keeps going. I look up to her as a role model: strong, courageous, graceful, an amazing athlete, artist in her skating, and just knowing that she is a normal person like me. This shows me that I can do anything that I want to, and that I can achieve my dreams if I work hard enough at them.

Marion Jones. Marion Jones is a great athlete and a great person. She does everything with grace and appreciation. She is a good loser and an even better winner. Her ability to do everything she does and do it with grace is amazing. She is my hero and role model.

Picabo Street. She has been a role model of mine ever since I first saw her ski (1989), and I've been following her ever since. Because of Picabo's strong will and determination, I have decided to pursue my skiing career as well. Even though I have gone through several hardships, I know that the road to success will hold many obstacles, and I am determined to overcome them. Hopefully, at the end of the road, my hero will be waiting. Some day...

Sarah Hughes. If she can do anything while she's young, so can I!

Apolo Ohno is my Olympic hero so far. He was so gracious about being taken down during his race by another skater. He was clearly in line for the gold. Totally cool person. -- Mary

Chris Witty is my hero. She won the Gold and set a new world record in speed skating. She also won a silver and bronze medal at the Winter Olympics in 1998.

Picabo Street is my all-time favorite Olympian. Her athletic skills and explosive personality are a great combination. She is definitely my hero!

Go Jonny Moseley!!! Moseley is my hero for his outstanding mogul skiing. I remember he won the first gold medal for the US at the Winter Olympics in Nagano.

Kristi Yamaguchi is my hero. She won back-to-back World Championship in 1991 and 1992.

Kelly Clark is my hero. It was very exciting to watch her win the gold medal in the halfpipe in Snowboarding. Someday I would like to try some of the things she does.

Shannon Bahrke. She won the Silver Medal for Free Style Skiing Mogels and was the first US Olympic Athlete to win a medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics. I always like to watch her because we have the same name. -- Shannon from Denver, Colorado

Michelle Kwan is my Olympic Hero. I was hoping she won gold in Nagano, and I was happy for her to place second. I really want her to take home the Gold Medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics. -- Haley

Todd Eldredge, the U.S. figure skater. I like to watch him skate, and I'm looking forward to his Olympic performance in Salt Lake City.

Marion Jones is my hero for her strength, speed, courage, determination, and ability. She won five medals at the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000. This is the first time a woman won five medals in a single Olympics. I strive to be like Marion Jones every day. -- Patty L.

Torvill and Dean. The skating of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean was simply breath-taking when they received a perfect score during the 1984 Olympics.

Katarina Witt is my hero. Her skating is so graceful and exciting.

Picabo Street. She is my favorite skier because she skies hard and determined on every run. Also, you have to love her name! -- Amy from Tahoe

Dorothy Hamill is my hero. I loved to watch her ice skate. When I was growing up, I wanted to be just like her. In fact, I even had the Dorothy Hamill haircut!!!

Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair are my heroes. They are world-class speed skaters and great competitors. Speed skating is the best sport in the Winter Olympics.

Tara Lipinski is my hero because she won a gold medal in women's figure skating in the last Olympics [1998]. She is a great champion and the youngest person to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. I enjoyed watching her skate. -- Ellen S.

Phil and Steve Mahre are my heroes. The 1984 Sarajevo Games were incredible when they won the gold and silver medals in the slalom. Only a few hundredths of a second separated their times. Me and my twin brother are close, but not that close! -- Carl from Miami.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team. What an inspirational story!!!

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Hero Stories inspired by the tragic events of September 11, 2001:

The firefighters and police. They helped save others knowing their lives were in serious danger.

England is my hero because they always stick up for America and lots of other countries in the war and Sept 11.

My husband is my hero! My husband works across from the White House. Sept. 11th was a very stressful day for his workplace, but he was one of the last to leave the city in case something more happened and he could help; that is the kind if man he is. Last week, he was told he had to take antibiotics because he may have been exposed to anthrax. No fuss or ado, he just took them. And when they found the mail room was clean, he was relieved he wouldn't have to take more than 10 days worth, as liver damage can occur, and he is on another medication that he is monitored for that can do the same so that put him in double risk. He will and has fought for his country in the past proudly. He was patient with me as I was in shock from what happened on the 11th. He reassures me everyday knowing something more may happen that he loves me and our children and gods will, will be his fate. He is proud to be an American. When asked what race or nationality he is on any form, he crosses out all and writes in American!!!! We have so many flags here which we had anyway. He also belongs to the VFW and American Legion. He is my proud American and my hero!

The men and women of the United States military are my heroes.

My brother Raymond Nalpant. He is a New York City Police Officer, who was hurt 1 1/2 years ago while on duty. He had to retire early. However, he was in New York City 2 hours after our Sept. 11th tragedy. He walked across the 59th Street Bridge, went directly to Cornell Hospital to volunteer (he's going to school to become a nurse), and was then volunteering at ground zero for 3 weeks. He lost many good friends and did what ever he could to help the city in thoses tragic weeks. He actually doesn't think he's a hero. He says he's just doing his job to help man-womankind. But you know what....He truly is my hero!!

Search and rescue dogs.

The men and women of the United States military are my heroes. They are always there to protect our country, and they do it without hestitation. Thank you for protecting our freedom. -- Bethany.

Peter Jennings. I enjoy watching Peter Jennings during breaking stories. He tells what's going on in a calm manner without over dramatizing the events. -- Kate D.

The American people are my heroes for being strong and proud. We are united as one, and we will continue to live free with liberty and justice for all. -- Ronda.

The rescue workers in New York are my HEROES. They are brave, courageous, and are continuing the hard work for hours at a time. Thank you for everything you are giving to this cause. -- Sebastian L.

Although I did not know anyone personally, my heart goes out to all the families affected by this tragic event. I know something good comes from everything that happens, and I know there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Stay stong America and the World. -- Isabel from Washington State.

Mayor Giuliani is my hero. He tells us what is happening, and I always feel better after I listen to him. -- Mark from New York.

Fire Fighters in New York. All the brave fire fighters in New York are heroes. Some of them were lost in the tragedy trying to save people, and others are still searching the rubble that is left. They are all HEROES. -- Sue from PA.

Mayor Giuliani. I wish he could still be mayor of New York. -- John.

Colin Powell. I wanted him to be President, but I am glad he is doing his job today. He cares about America and all the people of the world.

My sister and brother-in-law are my heroes. Over the weekend, they participated in a local car wash which raised $5000 for the Red Cross in support of the workers in New York and Washington. My brother-in-law's company was one of the sponsors of the event, and he turned down free advertising from the local radio station because he said he did not want to benefit from the tragedy. They are my heroes. -- Lisa from Idaho

ALL Americans. All Americans are my heroes. In this time of horrible tragedy, we have proven UNITED WE STAND TOGETHER AS ONE NATION UNDER GOD.

The Men and Women who responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. In doing their jobs they willingly risked their own lives to try to save others, again and again, with little rest, and, now, with little hope. A nation admires you, honors you, and prays for you. Please know that all our thoughts are with you and the victims you are valiantly trying to save. God Bless. -- Wendy Handshaw Power (LI/NY)

The Firemen, Police, and Volunteers in NY. They are the heroes of America. There have been on duty since the beginning of the Plane crashings. Many have lost their lives helping the injuries and helping others escape. Now others continue to help recover the ones who have not escaped the Towers. Their courage has given all of us hope and faith in the future. We as Americans know that where ever we go or do they are there to watch over us and help us in the wake of danger. We also know they will not give up on us. They will continue to find and help us. They give us all the courage to continue and have faith we will recover and make it through this sad time. Their actions and courage has spread like a tidal wave across this great land America. Their courage has given all Americans the courage to continue. God Bless these heroes and God Bless America.

My heroes are the people of America who have come together during this tragedy.

The people of my community are my heroes for doing everything they can to help the families and rescue workers during this time. They make me proud to be an American.

N.Y. Firefighters. They are my hero because they have worked so hard to clean up after the tragic accident, and they are also being so kind to those who have lost loved ones. Firefighters of New York, I am so glad you are here. To all the other wonderful firefighters who also helped clean up the mess from this tragic accident, I think you are my heroes too. There may be no buildings, but I still believe (and I think you do too) there is still grief and love. All the firefighters who helped, YOU ARE MY HERO!!! -- Kayla MN

Our Firemen. On Sept. 11, 2001, our firemen were in a tough position. They tried to save as many people as they could. They inspire me and my peers. So I think that they should be rewarded for their hard work!!!!

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My Dad. When people usually think of a person that they admire, it is typical to think of a person that is strong and an inspiration to them. I feel that you can admire and be inspired by a person even if they are no longer with you. The person that I admire the most is my father. He died when I was a baby, but I admire him for everything he was and everything he wanted me to be.

My father's name was Gregory Servante. He died of cancer weeks after his thirty first birthday. It was October 30, 1983. Many people that hear this feel pity or sympathy for him. They feel that he died at such a young age. He didn't see it this way though. He told my mom before he died to not feel sorry for him. He had lived his life to the fullest extent that he could. When he died he knew that it was his time and that God had a plan for him.

His strength and faith has inspired me to be grateful for every day that is given to me, because nothing is promised to you. Even under dire circumstances, be grateful for what you do have. Don't ponder upon or wish for what you don't have or what could have been.

I have a letter that I have always kept with me in my wallet since I was a child. The letter is one of the most important things to me. It's from my dad. He wrote it to me when I was a baby. It is the only type of connection to him that I can actually hold in my hands, and read the words that he wrote to me. The words are straight from his heart. The letter tells me to always believe in myself and to follow my dreams. He tells me to always remember that we will be together again some day. The letter inspires me to be strong and follow my dreams.

When I read the letter it makes me feel closer to him. It shows me how much he loved me. I know that he wished he could have known me and been with me longer, but in a way I feel I do know him. I feel like he is with me every day. He is my angel, looking down upon me. In my heart I know that I will see him again.

I want to make him proud of me. That is why I try my best at whatever I do. I try to stay out of trouble. I want to make something of myself so that I can be like him someday. The proudest moments that I have are when people that knew my dad say that I remind them of him. He was such a strong, good, loving person. There is no one else I would be prouder to be compared to.

No matter what I do or where I go, I will have him with me. I will carry him in a special place in my heart. A person might have passed away, but they are never really gone if you keep their memory alive. When I have kids I will tell them about their grandfather and let them know what a wonderful person he was. Hopefully, they will tell their children about him also and his memory will live on forever.

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Brian Thomas Littrell. Each and everyday I wake up from a deep slumber and run through the motions of my life's routine. My eyes catch a glimpse of the images of places and people who flash ever so quickly and leave me with distant memories of where I have been. A lingering thought that possesses my mind daily, is who are these people, and what is momentous to them? Has there been a hero who has captivated their lives to motivate and inspire a difference in their routine? Do they take their life for granted or bask in the sites and sounds of their ever so quickly passing life? Then, I take a glance into my own life, and evaluate the person I have grown and matured to be. It is a shame that I can not share with these people how I cherish my life and the experiences I have encountered along my way, for the inspiration I have gained is enough to hearten the world.

One of those ever so cherished moments is the day a special angel entered my innocent life. Never will I forget the emotional pain seeping through my veins one moment and the next it all being cleansed away. What I have described may appear like an instantaneous occurrence, while in actuality it has taken months and years to unfold. This is my story:

It all began approximately four years ago when the strength, faith, and reassurance that had been washed away from my existence re-entered my life through the uplifting voice of a young man. Not only was his angelic voice enough to lift me from my sorrow, but the numerous tests of faith this man has endured guided my heart down a path of healing. Brian Thomas Littrell is a man of his word and a true hero in my eyes. His life started 26 years ago, when he was brought into this world with a Ventricular Septal Defect, which is a small hole between the right and left ventricles of the heart. At the tender age of four, after fighting off a severe infection serious enough that it almost took his life, his doctor's noticed this defect.

Eighteen years later, Brian was faced with life threatening surgery to correct his congenital defect. Preceding this surgery, Brian and his family visited Saint Joseph Hospital in Kentucky to set up a special fund that would financially and emotionally support children born with similar cardiovascular defects. The Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids has played an equally significant part in Brian's life as it has in the lives of others. Brian has filled his occasional free time at charity events and making surprise visits to the kids in the club. Even when Brian is not in attendance to club meetings, the children know that they have someone they can be thankful to, and look up to. In addition to Brian's efforts, I have been motivated to start a group for the sincere purpose of raising money for this foundation. The Task Force which I have created has reached people across the globe who have chosen to stand up and make a difference in the lives of others, just like Brian has done.

On top of all the health related hardships that Brian has faced during his young years, he has found a way to juggle his life as a musician in the eyes of the public. As a member of an extremely popular musical group, Brian's waking hours are spent performing, lending a listening ear, and signing autographs for the millions of worldwide fans he has gained. Despite the fact that such a special person has gained so much celebrity attention, he is still an inspiration to millions who can see beyond his status of fame. Have a conversation with any random fan, and they will pour out their emotional past and explain how Brian has gained a hero status in their eyes as well.

Aside from the harmonies belted out and the dance moves displayed, Brian's overwhelming perseverance and ability to radiate such ravishing tranquillity wherever he goes is a true gift from God. Myself is included in the group of fans that have been ever so blessed by the golden qualities of such a perfect young man. When Brian first gained access to my life, I had just exited a relationship with another person that nearly destroyed my being. The pain endured through the emotional degrading comments and fear were enough to lead me to darkness. When the echoes of Brian's voice entered my ears, I knew there was something uniquely different about him. Just watching him publicly thank our Lord and Savior for giving him life and success really made me begin to see that I needed to hand my life over to God. I have been inspired to maintain a positive attitude and keep driving forward because of Brian's ability to open his heart up to millions even while dealing with life threatening ailments. And, while Brian has surpassed numerous stereotypes and overcome immense challenges, he has provided me with the inspiration to stay focused on my future goals no matter what rocky grounds I may stumble over.

Everything that has been so vividly described in previous paragraphs displays the gratitude and admiration I have gained for the musician who I consider to be my hero. In no other time in my life have I had such a compassionate, unselfish, giving young man like Brian to look up to. And all the tears my eyes have shed will never measure up to the amount of inspiration I have been blessed with. For that I am forever grateful. Written by Katie E. Green

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My Hero is MY Son! My son, as a young child, was dyslexic. It took me 2 years to realize this as he passed all written tests, but he couldn't read a book to me. I went to his school in 2nd grade, and they said he didn't have dyslexia because he passed all his tests. Needless to say, I insisted he be tested, and I was right. With the help of the school and myself, he has very little dyslexic problems. When he was 8, he asked if he could take Karate to build his confidence which he had none of due to his learning problem. I am disabled and can't collect so that makes us a one income family with 3 children. Times where hard, but we found the money. All the children he started with started to drop out of karate one by one; but not my son; soon he was teaching the very young children. We were proud he stuck with it. He started at age 8, and at age 13, he went 4 times a week and became a black belt. Would you believe his grades shot up, and so did his confidence! I never expected much out of him, but in Junior High school, I noticed he started to really buckle down to his studies. He used to just get C's, and then he was coming home with A's and B's. Well, today I am Proud to say he is my hero because he overcame all his problems and is a Police Officer. The main thing he says he wants to accomplish is to help one child like he was helped. And he has found that child at the age of 23 and is helping this child. Now, That makes a Mama proud. To this child he is a hero (my son) in his eyes his mother has said. So I am grateful to God for Blessing Us with our Little Big Hero. -- Bernadette Basham

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