talking to a superhero

“Master Sergeant Wade Szanca, United States Air Force, retired”….

And with that voice on the other end of the phone, my heart dropped back into its rightful place; 39 years later.

My Superhero is my Basic Military Training instructor.

The sound of his taps clicking against the cold hard floor as the guard calls out, “Male in the dorm”, the smell of some 60 over-starched green fatigue uniforms snapping to disciplined attention, the knowing I must have lost my mind when I showed up to formation with my dress blues buttoned wrong, and the real fears as we were the first Squadron to train male and female troups together under threat of the returning military draft.

And the proud look under the TI’s hat-brimmed brow each time I got the answer right,….. “Sir, the Duke, sir!”.

However small, my Superhero created situations so we could know what a win feels like. I was eager to prove his faith was not misplaced in me. And I recognized the hero everywhere…. the rest of my life.

Who do you need to thank? Not because they made life easy, but because it was tough and they let you know you would rise above it.



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