Who Inspires You by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

In a recent Instagram post, I wrote this: “Heroes do not wear capes.” We all know that. Recently, I watched a newscast which aired our Speaker of the House making a guest appearance on “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” and told the drag queens they “inspired” her. “My honor to be here to say to all of you, how proud we all are of you. Thank you for the joy and beauty you bring to the world,” she said.  “Your freedom of expression of yourselves in drag is what America is all about.”   The drag queens beamed.  I groaned.

As a college assignment, my granddaughter recently was asked to write an essay about the person who most inspired her.  She wrote about a woman she met on a missionary trip who taught her the importance of loving others…not in a fake, self-serving way but in the same way Jesus loved.  One person inspired by freedom of expression, another by loving Jesus.

Who inspires you?

The movie “Maverick” is a blockbuster hit.  Tom Cruise returns to lead a group of Top Gun specialists in a heroic, edge-of-your-seat-type spectacular.  Who of us can watch that without feeling an enormous sense of pride in the U.S. military, not only for their phenomenal piloting skills but also for the design and capabilities of the planes they fly?

The Fourth of July will be celebrated this weekend.  Many of us will have family get togethers, roast hot dogs and shoot fireworks. For that day, we might even play patriotic songs on our iPhones, and when we hear Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be an American,” we will sing along.  Yet, we who never served in the military cannot begin to understand just what heroes our soldiers are.

Adam and Jenn, my son and daughter-in-law, regularly host PTSD veterans at their ranch.  These heroes come to heal, to team with others who have suffered as they have, and to share their experiences with like-minded veterans.  Once recovered (as much as humanly possible), some return to mentor the newbies who come for the first time.  Statistics are alarming for those who are not helped.  According to U.S.O. reports,     “In 2021, research found that 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans who served in the military after 9/11 have died by suicide – compared to the 7,057 service members killed in combat in those same 20 years.”

This week, Adam and a team of heroes are in Ukraine.  Yesterday, our family received a rare text from him, describing his mission.  A friend in Moldova had called him, asking if his team could bring aid to a church in Ukraine accessible by only two bridges.  One had been blown up two months ago, but the second, hit by a missile a few days previous, was still passable.  The church where they delivered the goods had a pastor who had acted on faith and built a large church, praying that people would come.

Adam wrote, “His first service in the new church was Feb. 20.  Russia invaded on the 24th.  His church now has 1500-2000 who attend daily, evening services…we (E3 Foundation) had bought seven tons of food for his church.  Shortly after buying it, I got a random text from a friend in the states who wanted to make a donation to E3 for just shy of the amount we just spent.”  He ended with this: “God continues to open doors and we continue to see His light overpower the darkness here!”

Let’s remember that the reason we (including drag queens) have the “freedom of expression” to celebrate the 4th of July has nothing to do with us.  It is because of the eternal Hero making that possible by blessing those who fight for that right.

We should all remember that this Independence Day!

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