In our lives we have people that inspire us in our day-to-day journey. Ordinary people that have accomplished extraordinary things. Their stories may never be shown on CBS news. Never-the-less, they have touched our lives and awakened our spirit in such a way that they truly inspire us. These special people are all around us. Very humble, they never seek the attention that they deserve, nor do they ask for their lives to be in the spotlight. I have had an the opportunity to work among so many of these extraordinary people at the Rock Island Arsenal.
I recently heard about a special competition that had taken place at the Arsenal. This event is called the “Best Warrior”. This competition brought four men from every corner of the country together. These men were the best from their ranks and been chosen for this special competition. They were judged for physical fitness. The men had to appear before a board and were asked questions about the specs regarding their dress uniform appearance. They were drilled on map readiness, and also had to write an essay. They had a rifle proficiency test and a two mile run with full uniform on, and combat equipment. This was a four day competition where two of the days started at 4 A.M. and went past 11 P.M. in the evening. They wanted to see how the men worked under the mental pressure of very little sleep and how they performed in a physical endurance test.
I wanted to share with you the story of one of the winners of this competition. Staff Sgt. Kevin A. Hopson strives for excellence in his life. Staff Sgt. Hopson has served his country for eight years. He has endured two tours of duty. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Clearly he has seen a lot and has fought for our freedom that we sometimes take for granted. My life is richer for knowing him. He has character traits that include, a love for his country and a servant’s heart. He is humble and willing to go the extra mile for the well being of others. These are just some of the traits that set him apart.
He shared with me that his grandfather inspired him when he was growing up in the very small town of North Powder, Oregon with a population of only three hundred. Staff Sgt. Hopson said that his grandfather always did everything in his life with excellence. His Grandfather also served our country in the Korean war. We need role models like these men in our lives and the lives of our children. Shortly after graduating from North Powder Charter School, a class of twelve, he followed his dream to see the world and enlisted in the United States Army.
Do you want to be inspired today? Stop and get to know the people around you. Everyone has a story. You might be surprised and encouraged in your daily journey too!