Heroes Of The Week!

Rains Drench Migrants Crossing Rio Grande River Into United States | Top News | US News

A migrant mother from Central America seeks asylum after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States- Photo courtesy of Reuters

Wherever you stand on the immigration issue, it’s important to remember that it is about people. The front lines are comprised by uniforms who are paid to do a job no matter what, and those who simply want a chance at a better life. The suits and the loud mouth talking heads will turn them into numbers, but they are not numbers. Let’s stop pretending we wouldn’t do the same thing in that mother’s situation.

Let’s get to Friday . . .

a person jumping up in the air: Davison senior Bradly Rainwater clears the bar in the Pole Vault Monday, May 17, 2021 at Lapeer High School. Rainwater was born blind and uses step counts and a specialized track to aid him in competition.Bradly Rainwater of Davison High School in Lapeer, Michigan makes it a point to touch the sky on a daily basis. The senior track and field star comes from a long line of pole vaulters, and he’s done the family proud with his exploits: This year alone he’s won three events while finishing second-place in another four. His personal best is a 10 foot jump, which he’s accomplished twice. Impressive stuff made all the more so when you learn that Bradly has been blind since birth.

“He’s a pretty remarkable kid,” says coach Michael Crongeyer. “I’ve been competing and coaching for over 20 years and he’s the first (blind pole vaulter) I’ve seen. We think he’s the only one in Michigan to be a blind pole vaulter. It’s very rare,”

The kid is sporting a 3.5 GPA and plans on attending Spring Arbor University in the fall, where he’ll major in psychology and music. He says he might even try and make the track and field team, because why not? And his goal for the regionals coming up in June is to jump 11 feet . . . which would qualify him to vault in college.

I wouldn’t bet against it.

(Gracias to Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for this sky-high get.)

I’m all for fan involvement in a sporting event, excepting for the Tampa Bay Rays . . whose fans rarely show up at all. But here’s the thing. Fans ain’t the story, they’re simply the accompaniment to the story.

This week saw two separate incidents where fans behaving badly became the story. The above image shows Russell Westbrook of the Wizards being restrained after a Philadelphia fan dumped popcorn on him. In the image below, a New York Knicks fan spit on Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.

Trae Young Won't Press Charges Against Knicks Fan That Spit on Him | BlackSportsOnlineBoth of these fans ass-hats were escorted from the respective arenas and were banned for life. Which is great, but not enough in my opinion. Charge them, even if the charges won’t go anywhere. Hell, they should be doing community service. Say . . 5,000 hours worth of it.

Hey, I was gonna say give the players a minute alone with these degenerates, but there’s been enough line crossing for one week.

To paraphrase the Hal David classic, what the world needs now . . is ducks, sweet ducks. More specifically, rubber duckies.

That’s how Jim Preston of Menlo Park, California is going about it. He’s been delivering up messages of inspiration to his neighbors for several months now, and he pens them in rubber duckies. Everything from “Be Kind” to “No Fear” to . . requests. The man will even take requests, I mean . . . can you imagine living next door to a guy who can double down on your sunshine intake? Sign me up!

When the COVID-19 lockdown made celebrations harder to come by, Jim provided his neighbor Locke Anderson with best wishes for his sixtieth birthday. So yeah, you can keep your mountains and oceans.

I want what this guy is supplying.

An Honor Long Overdue:' After 70 Years, Ranger Legend Ralph Puckett Receives Medal of Honor | Military.comCongratulations to Ralph Puckett, who was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Biden last week. It is the highest award you can receive and it was a very long time coming for a man whose deep-seated belief in service to his country mattered more than anything else, and still does. Puckett never expected a thing in return. When he received his invite to the White House for the ceremony, he cracked “Why all the fuss? Can’t they just mail it to me?”.

On November 25, 1950, Puckett was serving as a first-lieutenant when he led a company of 51 US and nine South Korean soldiers into battle against several hundred Chinese troops. Puckett’s men were able to capture and hold Hill 205- a strategic point overlooking the Chongchon River in Korea.

During the ceremony, President Biden referenced the Colonel’s response to his invite by saying, “Col. Puckett, after 70 years rather than mail it to you I would have walked it to you,”

Nice comeback, Joe.

HeroHomes completes 4th home for a veteran | News | loudountimes.comImma wrap up this week’s episode with a story of struggle and redemption, and a man whose life’s journey bears a haunting resemblance to the Robert Frost poem; because it has been lovely, dark and deep. And for veteran Vainuupo “AV” Avegalio, the beauty of it all has been a hard earned thing.

The retired US Army veteran served his country proudly, but as with most veterans, the next chapter of his life proved to be an epic challenge. Having experienced the polar opposite of normalcy for more than a dozen years, he found it damn near impossible to wrap his head around life as a civilian.

“Military life was both a blessing and a curse. It took me to places I could have only dreamed of growing up on the Samoan Islands. I witnessed horror, destruction, merciless acts of inhumanity. I saw acts of gallantry and heroism. I sent and welcomed many good friends home. I was shot at by enemies. I was spit on by the people we fought to protect. Through 12 years of service and even today, a battle deep within me grew stronger with each breath and every thought, a battle with myself.”

After leaving the military, Avegalio struggled to find purpose. He found it in the arts, with poetry and painting. It was his conduit, a shared language he could share with a world that seemed so foreign to his senses. He volunteered at correctional facilities and worked with at-risk youth, all the while living in his car. He traveled the country this way, conducting workshops with the money he received from the Army.

Life caught up with his beautiful soul and the fates had a big fat IOU at the ready in the form of a brand new house for Avegalio. It was all made possible by HeroHomes, a non-profit organization that gives veterans the ability to live independently. Add to that AV recently made his big screen debut in the HBO documentary We Are Not Done Yet.

This turn of events has led Avegalio to . . you guessed it, pay it forward. He plans on using the basement of his new home as an art studio so that he can continue to do his great good work, for others. It’s what he knows.

He has promises to keep, and miles to go . . . lots of them.

64 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week!

  1. Bind AND a scholar and pole vaulter!! Whaaaat? Incredible story and gave me goosebumps just thinking of what all this amazing young man has (and no doubt fill) accomplish.

    Those a$$hats truly are an embarrassment, not just to their respective cities/teams but to fans everywhere. Sporting venues are just opening up following the panDMANic and these clowns show their disrespect like that? You’re right, banning for life seems like a tiny slap on the wrist. 🤬

    The world needs more Rubber Ducky guys. Happy Fri-Yay, Marco. A safe and happy holiday weekend to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved the episode this week, Pilgrim. Bradly Rainwater knows what it feels like to be a winner despite his challenges. Great story. Regarding Col. Pickett, all you have to do is read the ribbons on his chest to see the man has been deeply in service to his country. The four stars on his purple heart ribbon tell a big story. He also received the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, all with added awards. He carries the Combat infantry Badge with one star and the airborne badge. We all owe him a lot. I dislike sports fans who behave like jerks. Enough said. I appreciate Avegalio, too. Super post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He most certainly does. The kid has ups, literally and figuratively and every other type of -ly.

      Yes, his service to this country is one of those debts we will never be able to repay. And as with most veterans, he doesn’t make a big deal of it. I’m glad he got his moment, because it was a very long time coming and so deserved.

      Tell you what, the players really are sitting ducks for these degenerates in the stands. And if a player were to fight back, he would be fined and suspended. Nuts is what it is.

      Imma have to check out the doc on HBO, it looks good.

      Thank you Boss

      Liked by 1 person

  3. B,

    Please tell me that woman and her child will be granted asylum. Yes. These are people, not numbers.

    I am dumbfounded at how in the name of all that is holy a BLIND kid can pole vault. That is just plain awe-inspiring. 3.5 GPA to boot. Doesn’t it just want to make you give a swift kick in the arse to those who whine about, well, whatever?

    No. No. and NO. Fans – scratch that – they are not fans if they do this crap. Banned for life – at least there is that. But no, I’m with you on the community service. That would be fitting punishment.

    Jim Preston is too precious for words. Such a simple thing to do to bring love into this world.

    Ya gotta love the old guys like Ralph Puckett. They don’t need no stinkin’ medals! Look at his face! I know deep down he does appreciate it. Even if he had to go all the way over to the White House for a ceremony! Love President Biden’s response! So good.

    And lemme tell you. What is it about these fantastic vets who have done so much for their country just by serving that they feel the need to keep on keeping on? At least he didn’t fall through those horrid cracks when he found his purpose. I love that he was given a house. So beautiful. And of course, he doesn’t stop there. His kind never does. What a beautiful soul.

    Excellent choice of music, of course. Wonderful edition!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Who knows? They’ve become a political talking point rather than human beings.

      I pole vaulted once, at the ripe old age of forty two. I cleared eight feet and to this day I find it to be my most impressive athletic accomplishment, not to mention miracle. This kid does that for breakfast. Blind. Wow.

      Initially I was going to write that I was okay with giving the players a minute alone with these imbeciles, but I wouldn’t want the players to be sued.

      I love that story. It’s just . . . wait for it . . ducky.

      The Sheriff listed all of Puckett’s many commendations, impressive to say the least. And yet, you’d probably have to pry that information from him because he’s so damned humble about it. And yes, Joe had the perfect comeback, I loved it.

      I’m thinking that it kept him going, because people like AV have service to others running through their veins. They ask for nothing. They give everything.

      I had to remember what I played! Yes, thank you. One of my favorite eighties tunes.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope she was. And yeah.

        Did you? I am so jealous. When I was in high school, girls weren’t allowed to. Mind you, we weren’t equipped for the boys either. Man, I would have loved to try. And kudos to you! 8 feet ain’t nothing to snort at. Blind. I don’t have any idea how the hell he does it.

        I agree with you. It would fall on them, if they did.

        He he he… wonder how much he spends on those little bits of sunshine?

        I had to go see what the Sheriff listed. Wow. That is amazing. These guys are so damn humble. Joe done good.

        It must have. So many find themselves lost but he didn’t allow that to happen,

        LOL! I hadn’t heard it in a good while!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh I never pole vaulted in high school. I never even thought about it. No, I accomplished this feat back in 2008, I think. And I survived! That was a win in my book.

          I would love to see these fans get a visit from some wiseguys . . but that’s just me.

          Hope whoever he gets them from cuts him a break, knowing what they’re being used for and all.

          They always are. Humble that is. Service to their country isn’t something they feel needs to be rewarded, they feel it is a part of them to just do it. I mean, that’s really how they feel. Joe’s comeback was perfect.

          Nope, he got back. And good for him. And us.

          It never gets old in my book.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Right? I thought so too. AV has service to others running through his veins. It’s what he knows.

      And the kid . . . clearing ten feet. Blind. What?



    • You’re so right, Pam.

      Tucker Carlson, one of those loudmouth talking heads was bemoaning how immigrants votes cancel his out. The statement was so repulsively absurd but it highlights the mindset of certain people.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I thought that story was just . . . ducky. Sorry, I used that one already but I can’t help myself.

      Here here to your sentiments on veterans, they most certainly do!

      Pole vaulting at ALL deserves a trophy. Blind? Well . . I just . . . wow.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s okay, Cincy. I won’t give you detention for being at the beach. That would be cold . . .

      It’s a hell of an indictment on anyone who considers these people to be numbers.

      I love the rubber ducky story. It’s just such a simple gesture that means so much to those neighbors. Not to mention, Preston gets so much out of it as well. Win meeting win.

      That is amazing. Have you ever pole vaulted? Thank you for that story. What a kid.

      The veterans deserve a bow. Today, and every day.


  4. hey there – getting caught up on some reading and glad i was able to enjoy this post! the rubber ducks are a sunshine splash
    and the medal of honor recipient did bring a smile because sometimes they never see it in their lifetime
    and side note – Netflix has a great series featuring a handful of episodes about medal of honor recipients – it was a great series and highlighted the heroes with such great re-enactments and interviews

    Liked by 1 person

    • They ARE a sunshine splash, aren’t they?

      This is true, Prior. I just commented on your June 6th post- which is great by the way- that veterans of WW2 are so humble and gracious. They would do it all over again. Amazing.

      Oh yeah? What’s the name of it?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. going to that post now
    and super happy you visited it!
    and side note – i am just now officially burned out with military movies – but had fun exploring them this year – but now need a new theme
    – maybe after reading your recent post i need to see some of that silly reality TV that has no reality

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t watched a military movie in quite some time. But I know what you mean about focusing on a particular theme for too long.

      As for reality TV, I am not familiar with the current crop of shows. Every now and then I watched one of those fixer upper shows, but that isn’t the same thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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