Being in the Air Force public affairs business, we get stories from around the world of Airmen doing brave things at great risk and sometimes great cost. Explosive ordnance disposal specialists come to mind immediately. We published a couple stories of our folks going out into the community and working with law enforcement to dismantle and defuse explosives and munitions stockpiles, not in a war zone, but in suburban areas of the United States.
We’ve been compiling the stories we get from Iraq and Afghanistan into a publication called “Portraits in Courage: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5.” It’s only a small sample of the many brave souls in one branch of the armed forces. There’s many more people that have sworn to protect and serve and run in while others are running out.
Bravery isn’t reserved for people that dodge bullets and fight fires, bravery is displaying the courage to do what you feel is right no matter the cost. There’s bravery in day-to-day life such as knowing when to call foul when your company is in the wrong, standing up to the bully at school, speaking out when you’re afraid to.
I think it’s in all of us to be brave depending on how willing we are and how deep we need to dig. Sometimes it only takes an extra cup of coffee in the morning and sometimes people need help to find it. For some it’s so close to the surface it’s nearly instinct and they don’t give it a second thought.