What is a Hero? by Amber Chrudimsky
What is a hero? I invite you to ask those around you. More than likely, you’ll get a different response from each person. Some people say their hero is the person that raised them, others may say their hero is someone who made a huge impact in their life, and still others may say that the men and women fighting for our freedom are heroes.
I won’t dispute any of those definitions.
A recent string of events has introduced me to a new hero, one I had never considered before.
On June 13th, 2012 Marine Cpl Taylor Baune was killed by an IED while serving our country in Afghanistan. Taylor and I had attended high school together, though I never knew him. His death impacted the community in ways I didn’t know possible. Cpl Baune was a member of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Twentynine Palms, California.
While reading the many news articles about the situation, I learned that he had recently married his high school sweetheart, Colleen. I reached out to Colleen on her facebook and expressed my deepest condolences for her loss. I expressed my sympathies and told her I believed her husband died a hero.
A couple of days ago, I went to her facebook page again, in hopes of learning how she was handling the loss. I learned she had put on a large memorial event to honor her husband. While checking out the details of the event, I noticed that Colleen had solicited donations for the memorial. She wasn’t seeking monetary donations. Rather, she was hoping the community would donate items to put in care packages for the Marines in Taylor’s unit. When I read this, I immediately teared up.
I was so amazed and proud of the grace with which she is handling this tragedy. This woman lost her husband just two weeks ago, and yet she is focused on taking care of the Marines who remain in Afghanistan. As of June 27th, Colleen had put together 58 care packages.
I spent a significant amount of time in awe of this woman’s strength and determination. I admire her for all she has done for her Marine family. I wish I could express the amount of respect I have for her and all the military wives. Far too often, the focus is on the sacrifice the men and women fighting make (as it should be), and not enough recognition is given to the families supporting them.
Colleen Baune has become my hero. Through the darkest time of her life, she has become a symbol of inspiration, hope, and love. She has set aside all of her personal emotions and instead invested her time and energy into helping people who need it most. Clearly, her husband’s Marine ethos has rubbed off onto this incredible woman.
Cpl Taylor Baune, thank you for your service. I appreciate everything you did to ensure the freedom of this great nation. Rest in peace with the Lord.
Colleen, thank you. Thank you for reminding me that amazing people still exist. Thank you for being an incredible hero. Thank you for touching my heart. God bless you!
Amber is a dedicated Executive Assistant at American Warehouse Systems and a proud supporter of our troops and their families. Thank you Amber for this touching article.