Donald Carpenter, South Plains EC: “This is by far one of the most unnatural acts a human being can perform. Every ounce of your being says to run the other way, but instead these brave souls move steadily into a wall of fire.”
Keri Fischer, Deep East Texas EC: Kade Fischer, 10 months old, was photographed by his aunt, Chelsea Springett, for a class project. Using Photoshop, Chelsea carefully removed the ladder, leaving this little guy “flying high.”
Web Extra: Anna Daniels, Victoria EC: At the Florence Veteran’s Memorial, World War II Army veteran Clyde R. Dannelley points to his name on the memorial. “He was part of the greatest generation and my hero,” says his daughter Anna.
Web Extra: Cindy Fanning, Fayette EC: Jennifer Williams works with the Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society. Here she gives a hug to one of the hundreds of horses, donkeys and mules she rescues from neglect and abuse.
Web Extra: Gil Merkle, Guadalupe Valley EC: Before selfies were popular, Gil made this selfie with an Argus C4 35 mm camera while flying an OV-10 Bronco aircraft on a combat mission over South Vietnam in 1969.
Web Extra: Patrice Bates, HILCO EC: At age 3, Westyn was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. After a year of chemotherapy and three surgeries, he won his battle and became his family’s hero for his strength and bravery.
In big and small ways, our heroes go above and beyond the call of duty, finding an inner strength and inspiring others along the way. They put the needs of their families, communities and country ahead of their own and, though many hear the call, few answer. Here’s to those heroes who do.