by Brent Clevenger
Navan, County Meath, Ireland
My father is a truck driver, and has been for over 30 years. He works12+ hour days, and weekends, hauling scrap metals, toxic industrial residues and other dangerous materials. Someone has to move these things, I am glad it’s someone as reliable as my Dad.
One evening my father brought my brother and me to collect our mother. We arrived at the local Eagles hall and were waiting in the truck when my father smelled something. He looked behind our truck and could see smoke coming from a house, a block behind us. He quickly drove around to the house. The smoke was apparent, and we saw fire when he opened the door and went inside. He came out with a woman and rushed back in for her children. He didn’t stop until all the children were out. When the firemen arrived we went back to get my mother.
My father didn’t even mention it to Mom. We had to tell her what we had seen. My father said that nothing much happened and not to worry. The next day the story in the paper said that the people from the house were trying to identify my father to thank him. My father just said that they had more important things to be concerned with.
My father has a metal detector. He goes all over town, to fields, bus stops, parks — virtually everywhere to use it. He finds countless amounts of change, jewelry and junk. The most valuable thing he ever found was a solid gold nursing pin, a badge given to nurses when they graduate. This one had an initial and last name, and a date in the early 1920s. Dad did some research and learned that the rightful owner was now in a nursing home several hundred miles away.
The next Sunday he drove to see her. She was overjoyed. The pin had been lost for over 50 years. The woman asked my father how much he wanted for the pin and he refused any reward. But the woman became upset that he would accept nothing, so he compromised by accepting gas money for the trip — though I am sure that he didn’t tell her how much the drive actually cost.
Any one of these events makes my dad a hero, but he never stops. I’ve learned from him that being a hero means doing whatever you can whenever you can. Since I moved from home my father has received a citation from the city for saving a man from a crash before his truck exploded. I can’t wait to hear what he does next.
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 2.