Good People Doing Good Things — Heroes

There almost wasn’t a ‘good people’ post this morning, for while I had a couple of potential stories in my notes, I simply wasn’t motivated.  That seems to be the case a lot these past few days. I was actually watching part of a movie on my laptop, all but having given up on ‘good people’.  But then, I had an email from our friend Ellen, with a forward that included this first story, and I found the motivation I had been lacking.  So, my first ‘good people’ is actually Ellen, and my second is …

Just as it seems that bad news travels fast and far in today’s electronic age, so does news of bad cops, and we rarely hear about those who go out of their way to do good.  So, when this story came to my attention, I knew I wanted it to be first in the Wednesday morning line-up.

It happened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when 12-year veteran Officer Kevin Zimmerman pulled over Andrella LaShae Jackson for a problem with her car’s registration.  Three of Ms. Jackson’s children were in the back seat, two young enough to be in car seats, but they were not … in car seats.  Officer Zimmerman asked Ms. Jackson why the kids were not properly secured, and she replied that she couldn’t afford car seats, being a single mom.

“With bills coming up and winter coming up, I have to get coats and boots and shoes for my kids, So it was hard for me.”

Now, she could have incurred a hefty fine, but instead, Officer Zimmerman opened his heart and his wallet, went to Wal-Mart and bought, with his own money, two car seats for the little girls.  He then stopped by the police department to pick up stickers and children’s books for the girls, Niyah and Sky. He then visited Jackson’s home and installed the car seats himself. zimmerman-jackson.jpgZimmerman said he was raised to “do the right thing even if no one is looking”.

“I am a dad of three kids and can’t imagine anything happening to them or not being able to have them secured in their car seats.”

A big thumbs-up to Officer Zimmerman for going well above and beyond the call of duty and for his great kindness.  I’m sure the Jackson family won’t soon forget him.

Lamont Thomas of Buffalo, New York, thought he was finished raising children.  He had two biological children, and over the years, he had adopted five others through the foster care program … all were now grown, or nearly so.  Mr. Thomas began taking in foster children in 2000 and has fostered more than 30 children since.  According to the first child he fostered, then later adopted, Michael who is now 27 …

“He was my third foster home and it ended up being my forever home. Lamont never turned [a child] away. They either aged out or went back home to their own families. We’re all grown now, I can’t believe he’s started all over again. Lamont has been a life-saver to me. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today, had Lamont not ventured in my life.”

Fast forward to October 17th, in the courtroom of Judge Lisa Rodwin, where Lamont Thomas once again became a father … of five children!  The children, Zendaya, 5, Jamel, 4, Nakia, 3, Major, 2 and Michaela, 1, were siblings who had been removed from their parents’ home more than a year-and-a-half ago, and separated, sent to four different foster homes in four different cities.  Ever since their plight came to Lamont’s attention, he has been fighting to get them back together, and finally he did.Lamont-Thomas-1Says Mr. Thomas …

“They bring new energy to me. They’re lovable kids, very affectionate. They deserve to be raised as siblings, and that was my fight. I wanted to be the difference, make a difference by being a difference for these youth. I was fighting to keep back the tears. Every day I think about it, my eyes swell up. All that we endured to make this happen, it was something.”

Lamont-Thomas-3Another ‘good people’, a man who gives of himself, who puts others before his own self-interest.  A man who wants to make a positive difference in the world.  He gets Filosofa’s two thumbs up!

OBrien-1U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Kenneth O’Brien has quite a list of accomplishments … he has rescued people from a burning car; served on the president’s security team; and he was one of the divers who saved the team of Thai soccer players last year.

Last month, he was on a plane on his way to receive a medal for his heroism as one of 12 Airmen who were named the 2019 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.  On the Okinawa-to-Dallas flight with his family, he suddenly noticed a one-year-old child choking.  O’Brien quickly stepped in to perform CPR and back thrusts, and within a minute, the baby had regained consciousness.  He continued to check on the baby periodically, and all was well.

True heroes all seem to have one thing in common:  that “Aw, shucks, ‘twarn’t nothin’” attitude, and Sergeant O’Brien is no exception …

“I’m thankful that the child is ok and that I was able to help when the family needed support. I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

OBrien-3He may not be tooting his own horn, but one of his fellow Air Force compadres, Lieutenant General Jim Slife, is!

“He’s on the President’s security detail during his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He pulls a person from a burning car in Korea. He saves a Thai Navy SEAL during the Thai cave rescue mission. During that mission, he’s the furthest American in the cave, successfully rescuing the Thai [soccer players] who’d been trapped for days.

So, he’s rightfully recognized as one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. AND THEN… on his flight back to the states from Okinawa last weekend for the AFA Convention to be recognized, an infant starts choking and stops breathing. Our man OB leaps into action, clears the breathing passage, resuscitates the kid, hands him back to the parents, and then goes on about his business.

Sheesh! I don’t know whether I want to be right next to him in case some bad stuff goes down, or whether I want to be as far away from him as possible because bad stuff always seems to go down around him.”

Wow.  We hear of many who are touted as being heroes, and most are in one way or another, but it just seems that the title isn’t even quite enough for Sergeant Kenneth O’Brien.

24 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Heroes

  1. You know, the kindness of strangers can put into play a change of events that alters the life and perception of another in compounded ways. A sort of ‘butterfly effect’ happens that carries on…
    It doesn’t have to be big (like your super hero’s depicted here, including Ellen) but can be just a kind word, a smile, or helping someone for a moment.

    I was standing in a bank queue yesterday. The young girl in front of me was sniffling constantly, and the Painter and decorator behind me was standing impatiently with his assistant/daughter? He made constant derisive comments about the customer at the wicket holding things up with rather inane chatter, in not fully understanding the bank teller.
    I handed a packet of tissues to the girl. Her miserable countenance broke into a smile of thanks. She proceeded to tell me why she was sniffling… A long tumbled story. After she moved to the next available wicket, the painter had grown quite irritable behind me. His voice loud enough for all to hear, he made jokes about the guy still expounding his life to the bank teller (he was now telling her that he was going to put his money safely into his back pocket after a long diatribe about all his passwords). I turned to the painter and said, “he is likely Autistic,” and then I said, “please, I want you to go in front of me because my business is going to take a long time too!” I moved behind him in the queue. He was dumbstruck and no longer joked about the man who was now finishing with his wad of money safely stored. When the painter replaced him at the teller window, I heard him asking rather kindly about the customer she had just seen.
    I had changed the demeanor of two people with a simple act. However, it did not entirely translate to me… The teller, kind as she was, could not deal with my request and called the bank manager, whom it seems found me as irritating as dog poop on her shoe. She said she would call me back later that afternoon to set up an appointment. She never did. I had walked two miles to get to the bank (another two back again). I would say that they have just lost a customer… I shall withdraw my money and not use them again. Every action has consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your kindness to both the young woman, and the obnoxious man! You’re right … sometimes just a little thing like a smile or a kind word can change a person’s outlook for the moment. I am really sorry about your own troubles, though! Sounds like a rather inefficient operation they’re running and I’d be taking my business elsewhere, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right … it is contagious. Ever been having a really rotten day, then out of the blue, someone smiles at you and says, “Hey, have a good day”? Suddenly, the sun is shining and things are just a little bit better, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was laboriously raking leaves for hours, again, this morning. Goodness knows why as the leaves were falling as quickly as I was raking. There are 7 bags sitting at the end of my driveway awaiting an afternoon pick-up by the town, common sense and my aching back decided that was enough exercise for the day. Hopefully, I avoided further contact with the evil Poison Sumac this time. Be that as may be, though arriving here late in the day I am honored to be counted among your “Good People”…albeit totally unworthy of the title. Officer Zimmerman stood out to me particularly because it was nice to read about a policeman going out of his way to help someone in need. I am in total awe of Lamont Thomas. As Anne Geddes said : “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” Mr. Thomas is a DAD! Sgt. O’Brien’s heroic deeds are outstanding and his humility is praiseworthy. “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – John F. Kennedy. Each of these Good People decided to try and their accomplishments are inspirational. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ahhh yes, I remember your never-ending battle with the leaves last year! Y’know … if you just leave them on the ground, they will fertilize the ground for next year! At least, I think I read that somewhere. Just try not to kill yourself with the raking, please? Hey, you may not be adopting 5 kids (though I believe you would if you could), or saving the world, but you help keep me informed and help keep me from jumping off a bridge, so you are MY good people! I’ve always like that Anne Geddes quote, and it is so true! And thank you for motivating me to get off my patootie and write this post!


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