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Excerpt from Who Are The Heroes .... The code ....

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon,, as well as my publisher, Dorrance Book Publishing, and more. Now for the BIG FIVE! Honor, Loyalty, Trust, Pride and Dignity What is honor? Is there only honor among thieves? Many will try to tell you there are many different types of honor. Frankly, that’s their way of accepting and justifying that they have honor, or are honorable. Let’s have a look. Honor: A person with with honor has a good reputation, or public esteem, a person of superior standing that has gained respect and moral values. It is a term that is used as a sign of respect. We will refer to a judge as “Your Honor," or say that a solider has “honor." It was an “honor” to serve with you. Someone has honor, by the way the keep their word and commitments. They are said to be “honorable” Because of these traits, they can be “honored." Don’t let the usage and variables confuse you on the word. It is used because those that are said to have honor, have earned that respect. By actions, words and deeds. Honor is about you. Are you an honorable person? Loyalty: The quality of being loyal to someone or something, a strong feeling of support or allegiance. Are you a loyal person? Now really think about this, were not just talking about being loyal to your children, or family. Being a loyal person means that you’re loyal to all the things and people in your life that have meaning to you. In every one of the professions I have been talking about, there is complete loyalty to the team, to each other as individuals, and the mission, meaning, what you are there to do. These words of honor, loyalty, trust, pride and dignity are not words to be taken lightly. They are who you are. They are your way of life. A way of life that you not only practice, but you live by. Trust: A firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trust is the single most thing that most people are afraid to give. Mostly because of the past bad experiences they have had in their lives. In these professions, there MUST be trust. Trust in your fellow team member, trust in your command structure. On a fire ground for example, you may be ordered to do something that makes no sense to you. From your perspective or vantage point, that command may seem to be dangerous and could risk your life. You have to trust that the officer giving you that command is seeing the whole picture, and they know what they are doing. Maybe they have more than one thing happening while bringing what you don’t see together. In your personal life, you have to trust your partner with your life decisions. One’s should be making together, but at times one may have to decide without the other for various reasons. Trust is the hardest thing to give. You can’t see it, touch it or smell it. It’s given based on faith. Faith is something or someone. In all the professions I have discussed, if you don’t have complete trust, someone will most certainly die. If you’re the type that can’t trust, or find it hard to give completely, you need to analyze that and find out why. No relationship, friendship or other method of bonding will succeed without trust. Between the military, fire and law enforcement services and EMS, there has to be complete trust. Your own life depends on it. Pride: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. Pride: For those of you that saw the movie Urban Cowboy, pride is described as one of the seven deadly’s. It’s the hardest thing to swallow, and the toughest thing to get down. We all need to have pride in what we do, how we perform, and pride in the things we support or stand for. You can’t have pride in something you don’t believe in. Therefore, if you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t take pride in yourself. I joke with people when I am asked what you do? And I reply, “I don’t do much, but what when I do something, I am always very good at it, if not the best. Therefore, I am taking pride in what I do, and how I do it. Let’s be perfectly clear on this point. My comments to that question are meant as a joke, but in reality, they are true. So remember what I am about to tell you now. It’s not how much you do in your life. It's about how much you do well. In the military as well as the other professions, they take pride in themselves, what they believe in, their team, and unit members. We all know how difficult it was to achieve what we have done, and we all take pride in it. This is how you develop pride. If you painted your fence and brought your neighbor over to see it, and stood there having to explain every mistake you noticed, you haven’t and can’t take pride in your work. Why, because you’re already making excuse for your admitted mistake. Taking pride in something means you are satisfied by the way it turned out. You can take pride in your accomplishment. In every fire department, one day during the week was called truck check day. That was the day where all the equipment that was carried on every piece of apparatus was checked by the crew assigned to that vehicle. Cleaned, run, inspected and put back. The whole vehicle was cleaned and detailed. The duty officer would not always double check everyone's work because there was trust. They were required as part of their duty to spot check a piece of apparatus after it was complete. By the end of the workday, we would be in the day room having coffee or doing something, and someone would come up and say hey; the Captain is going through the truck, or the rescue for example. No one on my platoon would even flinch because we took pride in what we did. We knew our lives may depend on a piece of equipment working properly. We did our job, and did it well. We had no concerns of the Captain finding any deficiencies. If you take pride in yourself, and what you do, you will never have to worry about being reviewed or check on. I see this all the time at jobs I had. The manager would call someone to bring some reports or data into their office. They would scramble to get it organized, because they didn’t take pride in the work they performed. I ask you this. If you can’t take pride in the job you do, can you take pride in yourself? Dignity: A sense of pride in oneself; self-respect. Now here’s a big one. We already hit a sense of pride, but how about self-respect. Self-respect is what you think of yourself. Your self-esteem. If you believe in yourself, you will most probably have self-respect. When you constantly give in, or compromise your value system, then you do not have self-respect. We hear people say this all the time. I would never do that, I have too much self-respect for myself to let someone treat me like that. That is a true statement. That person will not compromise their value system and beliefs for others. They also won’t be a party to, or support those who will compromise this within themselves. That doesn’t mean they won’t socialize with them, or end a friendship, it means they will contribute or be a part of it. The big five. Honor, loyalty, trust, pride and dignity. That’s a mouthful for anyone to attain. But yet, those in our armed forces, police, EMS and fire service have attained them all. They are all men and women of character. These are the principals that define them. Who and what they are. Who and what they stand for. These are all the traits that make up our heroes. These are the traits that are in many of you. However, the used are frequently used out of context, and twisted by many to suit their needs. These are not words or things that live by us. These are words and things that we live by. Those who protest through violence do not portray any of these words. Those who protest peacefully through intelligence and state their case, portray them all. Living by these words does not mean you have to live by supporting things you do believe in, or are totally against. These words are not meant to dictate to you your choices, but if you are to follow them, they dictate to you the way you will do them. After reading the definitions of these words and my explanation of them, you should be able to see how they are all interconnected. One affects the other. The controversial issue is, can you only portray one or two of these traits and not have the others. That’s for you to decide. For me, if you don’t have all five, you don’t have any. You can’t say you have honor, if you don’t have self-respect. You can’t say you have pride if you don’t have dignity. You can’t have loyalty if you don’t have trust.

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