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 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.Says 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.”
Another ‘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!
U.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.”
He 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.