Gangs, an Air Collision and Snake Bites…just another day for the average Joe Superhero. Once again a reminder that a hero lies within each of us.
This episode began by introducing a courageous young man, Tevita Veikoso, to us all. The son of a Tongan minister, Tevita dedicated himself to his family, church and football. Unfortunately being a hero, cost him his scholarship. With gang rivalry surrounding his community, Tevita had felt the pull to gangs but found solace in church and his community. As a freshman in high school and already a star athlete with schools looking at him, Tevita found himself overseeing a church fundraiser with lots of kids from the area. As the oldest kid around, he felt responsible for making sure everything was going smoothly. However Tevita couldn’t control the dozen or so gang members that showed up in front of the church. Making sure the kids were safe, he went outside in an attempt to diffuse the situation. The gang members had closed the street down and were blocking the exits. They clearly had a plan. Tevita struggled to find a bat that one gang member had dropped and was able to hold them back awhile until one member hit him in the head with a pipe. All Tevita had wanted was for the gang members to go away and to be sure that all of the kids were safe. However the gang seemed intent on hurting everyone. Eventually the gang retreated and Tevita realized that his eye had been damaged. Tevita lost his left eye and any dream of playing football professionally. The kids were so lucky to have Tevita that day….he truly was their hero!
The next story involved Reuben Bakker a Colorado glider pilot who specialized in taking people up in gliders and allowing them to soar through the sky like eagles. Clearly an exhilarating experience…one that got a little more intense for Brandi Hepburn and her son, Javin. The way it works….a rope is attached between the glider and a tow plane. Once they reach a certain altitude, the rope is released and the crew glides down majestically to the ground. An incredible experience. However it didn’t go that smoothly for Brandi and her son. As Reuben navigated the glider, he noticed a plane coming straight at their tow plane. Within seconds they realized they were in trouble. He quickly released the rope from the tow plane and just as he did, the planes collided. Somehow Reuben was able to steer them through the flames and to safety…saving all of their lives.
The last story involved the one thing that scares me the most….snakes! Seriously. My skin crawls every time I see them on TV or out in my yard. So watching Valeria Chavez tell her story about getting bitten by a copperhead snake, didn’t help. But Valeria couldn’t have had a better neighbor. When young Titus Gurnell answered the door and heard she had been bitten, the boy scout flew across the yard to help her. Skilled in first aid for snake bites, his instincts kicked in and saved her life. Knowing that the venom could rise, Titus grabbed a shoe lace and created a tourniquet at her ankle. After getting to the hospital, the doctors let her know that young Titus saved her leg and most likely her life. This young boy is an amazing hero…that I would LOVE to have as a neighbor!
Being a hero doesn’t have to be big…it is about the little everyday acts of people caring about people. I only hope that this show reminds us all that we too can be a hero just by showing up and helping.