In 1964, the Hasbro toy company produced the first GI Joe figures modeled after members of the armed forces. The figures were 12 inches tall and included
• An Army soldier
• A Navy sailor
• An Air Force pilot
• A Marine.
• An action nurse (added a few years later)
The toy has since gone through several incarnations. From 1982 to 1994, the company produced more than 500 different figures all of whom were considered military heroes. Hasbro continues to release new figures, the most recent one released in February 2013.
Although military personnel are still heroes in the real world, there are many other workers and professionals who are modern day heroes and deserve their own GI Joe figures.
Today’s heroes include first responders to mad-made tragedies
Several events of the last few years have brought to light real heroes who are not in the military. Only one example involves the terrible events of September 11, 2001. That day revealed to the public the unselfish actions of first responders to tragedy. Emergency medical personnel, firefighters and police officers all showed up at the disaster sites to help without regard to danger to themselves. Many lost their own lives while they were searching the disaster areas trying to save others.
Today’s heroes include risk takers who save lives
On January 15, 2009, shortly after take-off from LaGuardia airport in New York, a U.S. Airways flight piloted by Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, ran headlong into a flight of geese and lost engine power. The emergency forced “Sully,” as the pilot is nicknamed, to land the plane in the Hudson River. The 155 occupants all survived the crash landing and were all able to exit the plane safely before it sank. Sully and his crew all received a medal for their bravery and life-saving actions.
Today’s heroes include all the responders and assistants in times of natural disasters
Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the recent Hurricane Sandy in November 2012, have focused on the relief efforts of the Department of Homeland Security through its Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Although the agencies are sometimes criticized for not doing enough for victims of natural disasters, individual FEMA workers respond to disaster without regard to their own needs or safety.
Not only are the heroes the responders who row boats and rescue people balancing on roofs, the ones who organize the rescue efforts are also heroes. Among other things, they arrange for food, water, clothing and bedding to be available at disaster relief centers. If you are impressed by these workers and want to become one, you may want to enroll in a homeland security online degree program.