We Are All Heroes

Written January 31 2018

By dictionary definition, a hero is “A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” 

I think we ALL are heroes in our own lives, and in the lives of others. It takes courage to incarnate onto the planet at this time and to live a life full-on. It takes courage to have children, to move to new places, to speak up, to rise up, to drop an old habit or addiction, to start a new relationship or to end one, to get out of comfort zones and explore the unknown, and to be your unique self.

Meet Evan. I called him a hero, which he quickly denied. Evan is a 41-year old helicopter pilot from Idaho. He was “supposed to sit” a row behind me on my recent flight down to CA, but someone sat in his seat. So, as the Universe would orchestrate it, he sat next to me. We chatted the entire 2 hours and 47 minutes of our flight. 

He is the face of the firefighters who worked in the air to put out the recent California fires. I said he was a hero because he was helping to save people, animals, the forest, people’s businesses, and homes. He considers the heroes to be the ones on the ground face-to-face with the flames and making rescues. 

He shared with me how many gallons of water and fuel they can carry in the helicopters, and that they have enough of both to be in the air two hours before having to refuel. He told me what kinds of conditions and visibility they fly in, and that as the pilot, they hit the button to release the water. Who knew? He told me where they get the water (nearby lakes if there are any, fire hydrants if there aren’t, etc.). He told me their schedules and how much work and rest they get. They usually do 12 days straight (depending on the job, sometimes many more days), with actual flying time of 8 hours a day, and from the time of their call, they, like the firefighters on the ground, have a very short window of time to be on site at the fire in the air. 

He showed me spectacular video footage on his iPad that was filmed by his co-pilot when they were doing a two-month job out on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Fantastic life adventures. We all are so amazing, and oh the things we can do. What an endlessly incredible, diverse planet we live on.

Oh, and his girlfriend – she flies Blackhawk helicopters! Two people united in love for each other and a passion for what they do.

Meet Evan. He’s an everyday hero. 

Thank you firefighters on the ground and in the air for all that you do!

So much love & appreciation,
Julie Dittmar

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