There are many heroic figures that exist in many ways, such as Abraham Lincoln, a slavery activist, Martin Luther king Jr. , a civil rights activist, Jimmy Santiago Baca intervening in hopeless teen lives, a family member, or a nationwide hero. I consider that every person can become a hero. A hero determines their character, personality, humbleness towards something important. It’s what gives value of determination to obtaining something without receiving nothing in return. I find my brother, Michael Santos, to be a hero not only for his country but as well as a country that is in need.
He served his country as a United States Marine for four years. He is also contributing in the lives of Haiti’s people by fundraising money for orphanages do to their lack of everyday life necessities. Michael Santos is a very outspoken, kind-hearted, he is always ready to help people in need. He mentioned that, “The last time I helped somebody was hermana (sister) Teodula by cleaning the church”, he told me as he walk to his room in a calm manner. My father is proud of him describing him as, “a person who knows how to gain ones respect by doing many things, but ost of all a great son and friend to others”. Esther a member from his church congregation describes Michael as,”loud, funny, talkative, playful, helpful to others, and random but one person who she can look up to”. Michael Santos is very honored at his church Pico Gardens because people always have something nice to say about him. Through his generous heart he doesn’t expect to be rewarded it’s and almost impossible to not notice him. In the past years, Michael’s character was refined by fire. In 2004, Michael Santos Signed to be a U. S. Marine and three months later he graduated boot camp.
After boot camp he became someone new, an individual with new principles in life. As he was laying back in his bed acting casual he told me “the marines have impacted my character by its discipline”. “The Marines are joke! You got to be prepared mentally, last the physical training and once you’re there, there’s no turning back”, he spoke to me in a serious tone. There was a point in life when Michael Santos went through tough times and as any person we all have fears, but his fear was a life or death situation. In February to September 2006 Michael was deployed to Iraq to complete his duties. I feared going to Iraq but it was the good company of good Marines that helped me control my fear and sanity”. I tried to get more information of what he did over there but no response.
These were the years he faced trials. Though Michael walked through the valley of shadow and death, as of now he is using his past experiences, principles, and new habits to take on a new challenge by helping Haitian orphanages. Day by day, yard sale by yard sale, car wash by car wash, Michael sacrifices his time into this project knowing that by the grace of God he can impact little children that are eft in utter darkness. Each three months he sends the financial funds raised to Haiti. The total amount raised in three moths is about two to three thousand dollars. Michael explains to me, “What I learned as a US Marine Corp is that you go to take on whatever is on the plate. You see people doing one thing at a time but I take on three things at a time; I manage the car wash, the yard sale, and the food sales, it’s hard but someone’s gotta do the work”. Helping Haiti is definitely a challenge but with Michael’s hard work he can be able to accomplish it.
I can compare Jimmy Santiago Baca to my brother, Michael, where it says in Rob Baker’s profile, Poetry as Lifesaver published in The Norton Field Guide to Writing, “Baca would be able to see in the in the dark and that he would change many times throughout his life, just as a snake sloughs its skin” (p. 838 parra. 1), I see the similarity because Baca and Michael went through different character shaping periods in their lives. And just as Baca became a victor, my brother also. Baca dropped out of high school, became a infamous drug dealer, he went to prison nd changed and is currently intervening in teens lives. My brother went to the Marine Corps, feared going to Iraq but at the end of it all gained a new stronger character and is now helping orphanages in Haiti. Michael Santos has left a big impact in my life but in others to as he served his country and now serving the country of Haiti. Through his efforts I can observe what an ideal leader is by his service. As I see him succeeding I can say that I look up to him. His past past life has made him who he is now, a stronger person. He’s not only my brother but my hero.