Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What Makes a Hero? by Virginia Vaughan

A few months ago, my mom and I stopped in a local fast-food restaurant for an early lunch while out running errands. After we were seated, a man walked into the store and began yelling that someone had parked too close to his car. He demanded to know the person who’d done it. Another man in the back of the dining room stood up, admitted to owning the offending vehicle and apologized. I thought that would be the end of it, but nope. The first guy then started screaming at this other man and rushing at him. Things were about to get ugly.

The abrupt silence and tension in the restaurant were thick. Everyone had stopped and turned when the man entered and started shouting. My mom and I were seated only a few tables away from the man who stood to apologize, certainly closer to him than anyone else in the room. My mind was racing with what to do as the situation escalated in what seems to me now to be slow motion. Fear and uncertainty gripped me. Did he have a gun? Was he about to go on a shooting rampage? Honestly, just the thought of a physical altercation between these two men terrified me.

I glanced around the dining room. It was early and the lunch crowd had not yet ascended. The patrons were mostly older couples who appeared as frightened as I was. Then I spotted them. Three men stood at the drink machine. I can’t describe them physically and I couldn’t identify them from a lineup but I vividly recall what they did. Without hesitation or discussion, they each put down the food trays they were carrying and crossed the dining room towards the man causing the commotion. They meant to intervene.

Thankfully, they didn’t have to. Before they reached him, the man spewed a few more angry remarks then turned and stormed out of the restaurant. The three men returned for their food trays and settled at a table to enjoy their lunch.

Life went on like nothing had happened and we soon left to finish our errands. However, this incident has stayed with me. I recall it so vividly. The way shock and fear settled over everyone else and the lack of hesitation on the part of these three men. They were ready to step forward and deal with this potential threat. I saw it in their faces They had rushed towards the problem while everyone else had backed away from it.

They were not police officers whose job it was to intervene and to my knowledge, they didn’t have weapons. They were simply ordinary men who chose to run towards danger when everyone else shied away from it. In short, they were heroes. They didn’t have to act to prove their bravery that day, but it didn’t change the fact that their intention was to act. I know it. I witnessed it.

As an author, I write about heroes all day long. I make up dangerous situations to toss my heroes into. After this incident, I did some research on the subject and found a hundred different ideas about what makes a good hero, but I’ve simply come up with my own definition.

A hero runs towards danger to stop it when everyone else is running away.

Their bravery and courage that day will live in my heart and mind because I know that in this day and age, it could have been worse. That man could have had a gun. We could have witnessed something traumatic or, worse, our lives could have been in danger. But, if that had happened, I also knew I wasn’t alone and I’m thankful to the everyday heroes that live in our midst.

Check out books 1 and 2 in my Covert Operatives series before the next story releases in July.

She’ll risk everything to uncover her past

The first thrilling Covert Operatives tale

An infant is believed to have been murdered thirty years ago—but investigative journalist Dana Lang is convinced she’s that baby. Now someone’s willing to kill to stop her investigation. And only secretive deputy Quinn Dawson, whose grandfather may have faked Dana’s death to protect her, can keep her safe. But a killer’s dead set on burying the past—and them—for good.
This Christmas could be her last…

Unless Covert Operatives shield her

Prosecutor and single mom Melinda Steele thought her nightmare ended when her abusive husband died, but now someone wants her dead by Christmas. Navy SEAL turned security operative Noah Cason needs her to get justice in his sister’s disappearance, but first he’ll have to keep her alive. And his mission shifts from difficult to almost impossible when Melinda reveals who she suspects is really after

Blessings and Happy Reading!

Award winning author Virginia Vaughan lives by the motto ‘It’s not hoarding if its books’. Always the kid with her nose stuck in a book, becoming a multi-published author hasn’t stopped Virginia from continuing to grow her own collection of favorite reads. Her family has refused to help her move anymore because of the sheer number boxes of books, but she’s no quitter. She’ll keep buying books and, the next time she moves, hire a moving van.

If you love stories where romance intersects danger and faith, subscribe to Virginia’s email list at  and be the first to know when a new story arrives.

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  1. Virginia, you had me on the edge of my seat as I read your blog post this morning! How frightening and God bless those three heroes! Yes, the ones who ran toward danger.

    I wrote a long series with military heroes. They react in the same way...running toward the danger. Bless them all!

    Your book sounds amazing. Loved reading the blurb. You've hooked me! :)

  2. It's heartwarming to hear there are heroes out there. I'm reminded of 9/11 when so many everyday people, along with the first responders, worked to help each other through that horrific attack. I can't imagine how frightening that was for you and the rest of the patrons of the restaurant. God bless those three men. I'm thankful everything worked out well.

  3. Virginia, yours is an amazing story full of how much good there is in the world compared to bad. I'd say 5 to 1 that day. 1 irate man. 1 good man stood up to confess he was at fault. 3 more men were ready to step in without question and 1 woman who proudly reported their bravery. Yup, I see 5 to 1. Good odd against evil any day.

  4. WOW, Virginia. You described the scene so well my hands got moist with anticipation. I hate that people have such a short fuse these days and that no one ever knows how badly things might escalate. But boy do I love a hero. They're out there. We just have to remember that. Like Patricia said, Good versus Evil.

  5. I agree with Belle. That was an amazing description. And I love your definition of a hero. Thanks for sharing it with us. I often wonder what it is that makes some capable of running toward danger while the rest of us shrink in fear. Something to ponder.

  6. Oh my gosh, Virginia, how exciting...and scary. I agree with Belle and Cate, great job writing the scene, I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn't wait to read on. But those real-life men stepping into the role of hero was fantastic and your hero definition was right on. Thanks for sharing the story.


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