“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell
In October 2006 during my first year of law school, I saw my cousin, who at the time was stationed overseas in the Army, jump online. While this was not a rare occurrence, it was rare that he messaged me right away. Call it intuition, but I knew something was not quite right. He then sent me a message that said, “Amos is dead.”
I was fortunate enough to have met First Lieutenant Amos Camden Riley Bock through my cousin as they became friends during their time at West Point. Whenever they would come in to visit, we would make a pit stop at Montgomery Inn then just stay up for most of the evening chatting and playing video games. One of the things that I learned from Amos was to put your heart and soul into everything you do. He did that with his friends, he did that with his family, and he did that with his commitment to this country.
Amos is an American hero. Not in the definition of the word hero that we throw around any time an athlete blocks a kick to win the Super Bowl, hits a walk off home run in Game 7 of the World Series, or hits a buzzer beater to send the team to a major upset victory. But a genuine authentic American hero.
As he was leading his 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) platoon on October 23rd, 2006, an IED detonated near his vehicle killing him. He passed away serving his country and fighting for a cause in which he supported, believed, and gave heart and soul.
These are the types of men that we celebrate today on Veteran’s Day. American heroes like Amos. Heroes like my father who had two tours in Vietnam in the U.S. Navy. Heroes like my cousin, Simon, a Captain in the U.S. Army and graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, along with his wife, Ashley. Heroes like my great uncle, Private First Class Charles K. Mains, who was KIA in Iwo Jima fighting for the Marines in World War II. Heroes like Aelred Schwartz, who served our country for the U.S. Army in World War II. Heroes like my friend, Kaden Jacobs, who proudly served in the U.S. Navy. Heroes like my law school classmate, Nick Carter, who recently returned from an overseas tour. And countless other heroes that I am certain to have forgotten.
These people serve as role models to me, and I am eternally thankful for the sacrifices that they made in their life to serve for the freedoms I receive on a daily basis for doing nothing. Without the sacrifice of these men and women, our country would not be the great land that it is.
“This land will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Holmes Davis
I am privileged to know some of the bravest men and women to walk this earth. Today and every day, thank you for your service…past, present, and future. Thank you for being the true definition of a hero for me and everyone else you meet.
Bring your best today!