WHO ARE THE HEROES
This book is dedicated to our heroes. Those that serve in our armed forces, past and present. Law enforcement agencies, fire service and emergency medical services, (EMS). To those who have fallen in the line of duty and their families who have suffered the loss of their loved ones. To all that anxiously wait and pray for the safe return of their loved ones that are still serving, here, and abroad. Doctors, nurses and those in the medical field that give so unselfishly of themselves. You may come in different sizes, shapes, colors and creeds, but you are all equally heroes. May God Bless you all.
To my dear friend Christine Rizzuti Shaw. We met a few short weeks before my father passed. When many would have kept their distance, you were present every step of the way to support me and my family. You have since moved on, and my heart is filled with joy to see you happy. You will always be my friend and my hero. There is a place in my heart set aside for you. I will never forget your kindness, and will love you forever.
What is a hero? Who are our heroes? What mold do they come from? Are they just the men and woman of our armed forces, all those that pledged an oath to protect and serve our country and communities? This book is written about the truth. Brutally and graphically honest. There are no fancy words you’ll have to look up in the dictionary. There is nothing in this book that you will have to research to understand because it is all included within this writing. The why, the where, the how and the consequences. Everything in my life I take very personal. I do this because I make wise choices. The right choices, even if they aren’t the most popular choice for me or others at the time. Therefore, for me, life is very personal. This particular book cover is very personal and I would like you to understand why. So first, I would like to tell you a little about the cover. Why these photos, why these people, and who they are?
The top photo is of our Nations Flag. The flag of the country I am proud to be a part of and live in. I am not afraid to state loudly and clearly that I am proud to be an American. A citizen of the greatest nation on this planet.
The upper middle photo is of my oldest son Dominic. He entered the military at age 18, fresh out of high school. He is still in the service and plans on retiring when he completes his 20 years, which is only just a bit over a year away.
This photo was taken of him on one the bases he was assigned to while he was serving our country in Iraq. I thank God each and every day he returned home to us and his own family safely. Some did not, so this is one of the greatest gifts God has blessed me with. He is married and has blessed me with two wonderful grandchildren.
The young lady in the upper right, is Whitney Shaw, the daughter of one of the people this book is dedicated to. She also served in our armed forces. They served at the same time, and when we all got together one day, no one realized they already knew each other. It is a small world. Women are an integral part of our military forces as they should be if they choose.
The young lady in the lower left is my daughter Kimberly. She is married and lives in Florida. Her husband Vince was a member of the United States Air Force. She is currently pursuing studies in the medical field.
The next photo to the right represents the fire service. I had the honor and privilege to serve with some of the best firefighters and officers in the fire service during my career as a professional firefighter. My platoon Captain, George Scranton, was not only a friend, but also a mentor to all. It was an honor to serve with him and all the other members of our department.. He always said, there is no vacant building that’s worth a firefighter’s life. One of the most accurate statements anyone in the fire service has ever made. Every one of our four platoon Captains during my tour of duty deserve the honor of being mentioned here. Captain George Scranton, my platoon Captain, Captain Bob Freeman, Captain Milt Horobin, and Captain George Pniewski. They were all their own individuals, and had their own ways. Between working overtime, or one of them being on vacation, I had the honor to serve under them all. As different as they each were, they all shared the same passion. To insure the safety of their crews, and to save and protect the lives and property of the citizens in our communities.
I would be remiss if it didn’t mention a legend in the fire service. One of the most respected Fire Chief’s in the business. Retired Chief William “Wiggy” Johnson Jr. A man that by his demeanor alone, commanded respect in any room he walked into. A man that did it all, from his service in the military, to dedicating his life to the fire service and the citizens of our community. These men, and the crews, were, are still, and will always be my family. The men I trusted my life with by the decisions they made. Men that put on the uniform and would risk their life at any time without hesitation or reservation to save a life, or the life of another firefighter. All true heroes.
The next photo over, is of me with my middle son Michael. Michael is now a seasoned veteran paramedic. He works as a paramedic for two companies. At one, he is a road supervisor. Taking a picture alongside him when I was still on the road, was not only an honor, but a privilege.
During my combined 35 years of public service in both the fire service, and private ambulance service, I went on to take a management position for the ambulance company I work for a few years after my retirement from the fire service. My company had four divisions in my state, which I worked in three of the four divisions during my 27 years as a part time and full time team member. During that time, I covered more than three quarters of the cities in my home state at one time or another. During that time, I interacted with police officers in every city. Taking nothing away from any one of them, the last picture on the lower right is of my good friend Paul Raucci. He is now a retired police detective. He exemplifies what a law enforcement officer stands for. We worked on many calls together during our careers. His professionalism, knowledge and mannerism, were all evident by the way he interacted with his fellow officers, and those citizens within the community he served. I am proud to be called his friend. We all have heroes, and these are mine. But this book is about all heroes. Those that serve our country as well as our communities. The unsung heroes, and the forgotten ones. What does it take to be a hero? What types of heroes are there? Where do these men and women come from? All these questions and more, will be discussed in this book. God bless them all, and God bless America.