Friday, January 20, 2006

Profiling Heroes

There are heroes everywhere, and one of the sadder aspects of life is that we'll never really know about some of the greatest among them. Sure, the media will tell us who they think the heroes are every so often, and sometimes that person really will be a hero, but by and large we don't know who they are.

I'd like to take this post to highlight some people who are truly heroes.

Juan Carlos González

This is a letter sent by Sr. González from Cuba:
I am Juan Carlos González Leiva, president of the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights. Since January 12th, I have been the victim of psychological torture whose objective is to pressure me by force to go into exile from Cuba since my sentence of house arrest ends March 4, 2006.

My house has been under military harassment, and I am the victim of acts of repudiation, lead and controlled by military officials of the State Security from Ciego de Avila province where I live and by the Cuban government. They prevent me from leaving my house, and I am without food, drinking water, and electricity. We are suffocating from the heat. On occasion, they randomly restore my telephone, but most of the time, I remain unable to make contact with the outside world. Tania Maseda Guerra, activist in the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights, and Luis Esteban Espinosa, an independent journalist, are with me in my home.

Be sure to read the whole thing. You don't hear much about the leaders who fight for human rights in Cuba. You don't hear much about the state of human rights in Cuba, for that matter. But the people who put their lives on the line over such matters, they are true heroes.

Lt. Brian Chontosh

You don't hear too many tales of heroism of our soldiers in Iraq. Everyday, our men and women in uniform perform acts of great bravery, but it just doesn't get much play in the news. This is the story of Lt. Chontosh's incredible performance on the battlefield and how it earned him a Navy Cross:
Lieutenant Brian Chontosh, US Marine Corps, from Churchville, New York, near Rochester, Marine platoon leader, taking his men down Iraq's Highway #1, when all hell breaks loose and he and his troops come under intense enemy fire. The lieutenant ordered his platoon to attack, and by the time this Marine officer was finished with his work, he had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his platoon's flank, killed more than 20 and wounded at least as many more. The Navy Cross stands second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Read the entire story to get the incredible details of his battle.

So, I apologize for not writing much original content to this post, but I felt compelled to share the stories of these men. When I come across the stories of people with similar courage and heroism, I shall share those with you as well.

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