Hero of the Week: A Glimmer of Hope
By Jack Mandaville
About two weeks ago I was walking out of a convenience store and witnessed a kid, who looked to be about twelve or so, walk headfirst into the door while he had his head deep in his fancy iPhone contraption. Not only that, but then the little bastard looks up and mean mugs the door like it was the fuckin’ door’s fault. I don’t have any children, myself. So, after my laughter subsided, I came to the unsettling realization that I detest the majority of America’s youth.
But after reading an article submitted by RU fan Dan M. about our latest “Heroes of the Week” subjects, I can honestly say my faith in the future of this country has been restored.
Before we get into the actions of these two young heroes, I want to give you a brief background about another one. His name was Private First Class Charles George, a Cherokee Indian from and a member of the Army’s 45th Infantry Division, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions near Songnae-dong, Korea on November 30, 1952.
Here’s an excerpt from his MoH citation:
[quote]”Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and 2 comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. Pfc. George shouted a warning to 1 comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his companions. The 2 soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wound.”[/quote]
If the Rhino Den had been around in 1952, this man would have definitely been featured as a Hero/Badass of the Week… but Al Gore was only four and hadn’t come close to inventing the internet yet.
Sixty years later, the heartfelt actions of two young New York boys helped preserve the sacrifices of PFC George and reminded us that our country is still pumping out quality individuals.
Michael Mazzariello of Wallkill, NY takes his two sons—Michael, 11, and Mauro, 8—to go buy GI Joes every time they do well in school. During a visit to a local antique shop, the two boys found themselves digging through a bin of collectibles when they located a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Army Good Conduct Medal, all with the same name attached to it: Charles George. The three awards were estimated to be around $800 dollars by the store’s owner—because of their good condition.
How the medals of a man who grew up hundreds of miles away from these boys ended up in New York is anyone’s guess. But upon the discovery, these two pint-sized heroes made it their personal mission to locate the rightful owner/heirs of these treasures. (Thanks to the store owner agreeing to let the children have the medals on the condition they find the original owner.)
We all know the fate of the original owner. However, after a utilizing YouTube, Veterans groups and numerous state senators, the boys were able to hand the medals over to George’s surviving family members during a recent Veterans Day ceremony.
“It was the most satisfying moment of my life, to finally give the medals back to them,” said little Michael in an interview with ABC News.
In a nation where our youth are increasingly being bombarded with the idea that self-preservation and indulgent behavior is more beneficial than self-sacrifice and a sense of higher duty, I can honestly say I am in awe of what these young men did. This not only speaks highly of them as individuals, but it also gives us hope that there are leaders of an upcoming generation who will carry the same torch that Charles George did.
“I want to be a doctor for the military so I can help fix them,” added Michael.
Not only is that one of the cutest things I’ve ever read, but it’s one of the most badass. That’s why Michael and his brother Mauro have been made the Rhino Den’s Heroes of the Week. Good on ya, boys. GOOOOOOO JOE!