Monday, November 3, 2014

Who's Your Hero Blogfest


(Click the above button to check out other bloggers' heroes!)

Heroes?  Wow...I've got several.

I'm going to talk a little about my mother-in-law's husband, Vincent Rios.

"Vince" enlisted in the Marines shortly after graduating high-school in 1964.  He did a tour and came home, and almost immediately 're-upped' again.  He spent a couple of years stateside, and then returned to Viet Nam.  This tour, he received 3 Purple Hearts.
1.  He was shot in the left shoulder with only a minor injury.
2.  He was shot in the right shoulder which required more extensive treatment.
3.  In 1969, as leader of his platoon, he had the misfortune to step on a land-mine, which vaporized both his legs.  His right arm hung by threads and several knuckles on his left hand were gone.

He remained in his position, giving orders to his men and protecting them with cover fire.
Many soldiers would not have survived such extensive wounds.  But such was the determination of Sgt. Rios.  He went on to drive vehicles (with hand controls), walk on prosthetics, and earn two advanced degrees, serving his comrades in the DAV for years.  I've not once witnessed him bemoan what happened.  His philosophy is basically, "It could have killed me, but it didn't."

Each year on the 4th of July, the remaining members of his old unit gather at Vince's house to celebrate and commemorate.

Every time I get down on myself (which is far too often), I remember Sgt. Rios, and the tremendous example he set back then and continues to set today.

This is a more timely picture of Vince:


(I must confess I do not know copyright on these photos, but they belong in the family, and I'm hoping no one will get upset at me using them here.  I found them at the Austin, Texas, chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.)

11 comments:

  1. Semper fi! Go Vince. Love it.
    My husband is a former marine. I'll be sure and share this with him.

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    1. Very kind of you, Mina. Thank you so much for your visit!

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  2. Great pictures! I'm glad you shared them. :)

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    1. Thanks, Margo. Vince continues his work of caring for others to this day.

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  3. Truly wonderful inspiration! My cousin, although he didn't lose any limbs, faced similar challenges - in a coma for a year because of the head injuries he sustained - and went on to do the most incredible things, has the same attitude. These vets are indeed REAL heroes.

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    1. Absolutely, Bish! I don't imagine anyone comes back from a war the way they went.

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  4. LuAnn,
    Thanks very much for participating. That is a truly inspiring stories. Some of us seem to have super-human strength and fortitude in the face of adversity and this man is one of those people. Truly a hero!

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    1. Definitely, J.L. I was a little intimidated when I first met him, because I'd only heard about what he had overcome. How silly of me!

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  5. So many participants in the Heroes blogfest picked family members. Strange, but I never even considered my Sweet Boo-Boo or courageous daughter.
    Ah well.

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    1. There are so many, many possibilities from which everyone can choose, Huntress. No worries!

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  6. Hi LuAnn!
    "It could have killed me, but it didn't." Love that simple philosophy, which is a reminder to embrace life!
    Vince is an amazing man with an amazing spirit...a true hero.
    Thank you for participating in the Hero Blogfest!

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