What Makes A Hero?

Two weeks ago, Sgt. Wayne Leyde won $1 million from a scratch-and-win lotto ticket.  ABC News reported that he was driving near his home in Mead, Washington when he stopped at a store by the side of the road and bought a ticket, a Coke, and beef jerky.  Using a penny lent to him by the store clerk to scratch his card, he discovered his winnings.

As a 26 year old member of the Washington National Guard who has completed two tours in Iraq, the obvious question was:  “Whaddya gonna do now?”  His answer was:  “It was a commitment I made…and I’m going to stick to it.”  He plans to return to Iraq to service with his band of brothers.

“For right now, I’m going to hold off [spending] and let reality sink back to earth.  This is a true blessing.  I’m going to turn it around and see if I can bless other people with this,” Leyde said.

A parent emailed me just the other day to tell me what her six year old said in response to overhearing her talking to her husband about how little the military is paid for their extraordinary service.  The child piped up with, “They don’t get paid, because you can’t pay people to be heroes.  They just are.”

Meet Sgt. Wayne Leyde:  an American hero.