A bright and shining light is what I would call Staff Sergeant Kevin Hopson. He does the unexpected for others. This character trait is what sets him apart. Recently I heard a story of an act of kindness in which he did the unexpected for a couple of stranded travelers here in the Quad Cities.
It was after one of the snowstorms that caught us all off guard. It was freezing that day. The roads were icy and the sides of the streets were piled up with snow. After giving someone a ride home from work, Staff Sergeant Hopson was on his way home after a long day. He came along a vehicle that had slid off the road and was stuck in a snow pile. Another Good Samaritan had stopped to help the two men, they were using their hands to unsuccessfully free the vehicle from the snow.
Staff Sergeant Hopson didn’t hesitate to stop and help. He had a shovel in the back and tow hooks on the front of his truck. When he approached the men he realized that there was a language barrier. They had no phone to call anyone, and were unfamiliar with the area they were in.
He was able to dig the car out and use his truck to free their vehicle. He made some friends that day regardless of language differences. I realize that other people have done such acts of kindness too. The difference is this isn’t unusual behavior for Kevin, or something that is done on a whim, it is part of who he is. This kind of selfless act is typical for Staff Sergeant Hopson.
He strives for excellence in everything he does. Staff Sergeant Kevin Hopson won the Best Warrior competition at Rock Island Arsenal in July of last year. After winning this competition he was named NCO (Non-commissioned officer) of the Year for the Army Material Command(AMC.) In October he went on to compete for the Best Warrior in the U.S Army. This event took place in Virginia and only included Army Soldiers that won the previous competition at their own command and at the next level of his/her headquarters.
In May of this year he was inducted into “The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club ”. This is one of the Army’s most prestigious organizations. Members of this elite group volunteer in the community. They are privileged to speak at schools, also responsible to host and attend many community events.
The club’s namesake, Sergeant Audie Murphy, rose to national fame as the most decorated U.S. combat Soldier of World War ll. Staff Sergeant Hopson received this honor at a ceremony on May 13, 2015.
When I talked with him I asked him how he kept his feet on the ground with all the notoriety he was receiving from so many. He jokingly said that his wife helped him with this. I continue to see a humility in Kevin that is genuine. He also told me his successes were for the encouragement of others. Staff Sergeant Hopson is a servant for our country and a servant for the betterment of society.
In sharing his story with me he wanted to say that his wife has been his rock. He said without her love and support, “I would never have been able to achieve my goals.” She is behind the scenes, so to speak, yet her devotion to care for their family has allowed him to serve above and beyond what he ever dreamed he could achieve in his military career thus far. Great leaders know that their accomplishments are met with the combined efforts of others.
As men and women we can influence our future generations to a higher calling in the world we live in, for the future excellence of America.
Ask yourself what is my sphere of influence? Who do I come in contact with day by day? Whoever it may be, make this quote your daily words to live by:
“Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will.” – A.W. Tozer