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Heroes are everywhere in U.S. so celebrate
Senior moments
Rich DeLong is executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange.

I’ve always been a very emotional person. Sometimes, I even let my emotions get the best of me.  

I remember watching the movie “Being There,” which starred Peter Sellers as a simple-minded gardener named Chance who by the end of the movie was being touted as the next candidate for president of the United States.  “Being There” was the last film featuring Sellers to be released during his lifetime, and his role in it was inspiring.

It was 1979 and I was only 19 years old, an incoming sophomore on the campus of one of the nation’s largest universities. The morning after seeing the film, I had a “Chance for President” sign in my dorm window. The country was definitely looking for bold, new leadership; a year later, Ronald Reagan was elected our 40th president. Reagan’s popularity as a leader continues to this day.

Last year, I became emotionally attached to the TV series “The Last Ship.” This all-American, post-apocalyptic drama is based on the 1988 novel of the same name by William Brinkley. Actor Eric Dane plays Capt. Tom Chandler, commanding officer of the USS Nathan James. The crew of the destroyer appears to be the world’s only chance for survival after an outbreak of a deadly virus kills more than half of Earth’s population.  The series is riveting, to say the least, and has just started a second season.

I told my wife I think the reason I like the show so much is that it is filled with so many heroes — “good guys,” as I commonly call them. These are people who put their lives on the line to help and protect others. They put service above self and have strong values but no political agenda. I believe our nation, maybe even the world, is looking for — no, let me correct that — craving a hero. Unfortunately, I think the days of the white knight riding in to save the day are over.

But that doesn’t mean we should lose all hope. On the contrary, heroes exist in all facets of life.

From our local leaders who truly want to make a difference and leave a legacy; to our military men and women who continue to fight evil throughout the world; to our doctors and nurses to our firefighters, teachers and police officers, we have good reason to be a thankful nation and grateful for those who set the foundation for this country some 240 years ago and for every freedom fighter since.   

And let’s not forget our moms and dads, preachers, civic leaders, caretakers, volunteers and the good neighbor next door. Yes, the world is full of “good guys,” inspired people doing incredible things. We must never forget just how exceptional people really are. It’s what makes our country so great!

Happy Independence Day, my friends.

Call DeLong at 912-531-7867 or go to

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