Through the Struggles

September 11, 2008
The life that he has led, the obstacles he has overcome, and the example he has set, are what make my Grandpa Wayne my hero. My grandpa was the eldest of five children. He was born in Buffalo, Indiana into a poor family. When my grandpa was nine years old, his father deserted the family. It was extremely hard for him and his family in many ways. He had two brothers and two sisters. His mother, Thelma, took all of the children and moved to her parent’s house because they couldn’t afford a house. My grandpa helped his family as much as he could. He got his first job in seventh grade, putting in long hours of work and only making two dollars a day. My Grandpa Wayne is my dad’s father and is my hero for many reasons.

The first reason I chose my grandpa as my hero is because of his braveness. After my grandpa graduated from high school, he joined the military. The reason he joined the army to get away from home and to help pay for his college education. My grandpa is like Odysseus because of his brave heart. Odysseus and my grandpa both share the quality of braveness. He would probably not be where he is today if he had not chosen to join the army.

Another reason I chose Grandpa Wayne as my hero is his ability to make decisions. He had to make many big decisions throughout his lifetime. One of those big decisions was going to college. At first, he applied to Taylor University, but his family had no money to send him there; so after he served in the army, he joined the army ROTC program at Purdue University. He chose Purdue because of the ROTC program, and it was an easy commute from Buffalo. Odysseus had to make many difficult decisions just like my grandpa. Sometimes Odysseus didn’t make the best decisions, but he always got himself out of it. My grandpa wanted to be successful in life and get a good education so he could get a good job and help support his family. My grandpa said, “I had a desire to better myself.”

My grandfather had to deal with adversity his whole life. This is another reason why he is my hero. He had to overcome many obstacles throughout his entire life. Because he was the oldest of five children, he was the father figure of his brothers and sisters. In helping raise his family, he became independent with very little role models to help him. He had to farm, go to school, and help with supporting his mother and his siblings. Because he had no father around, he had to rely on his grandfather to help him develop as a young man. He learned many life lessons from his grandfather. One was a conversation he recalls that motivated him to go to college. His grandfather told him that he would be better off going to college than farming the rest of his life. This one conversation changed his life and motivated him to do just that.

The final reason my grandpa is a hero to me is because of his great example and leadership to many people. He has been a good father and grandfather and a great role model. He has gone from a poor farmer, to a teacher and basketball coach, to high school principal, and school superintendant. My grandpa said, “I always wanted to be better than my father was to me.” He has more than accomplished that goal as a father and a grandfather. My grandpa has experienced a lot through his life and has become very successful. He is now retired and resides in Carmel and is still working at the Hamilton County Courthouse as the Administrator for Veterans Affairs. He is very well know in Hamilton County and has made quite a name for himself coming from a small town named Buffalo.

My Grandpa Wayne is a very loving, caring, giving, and smart man. He has done so much for his children and grandchildren. One thing that he and my grandma have done is bought a lake house on Lake Schafer. This shows how giving and caring my grandpa is. He always thinks of other people first; and is a very non selfish man. My Grandpa Wayne is very smart just like Odysseus is in “The Odyssey.” My grandpa said in the interview, “I do not want to be a negative role model like my father.” He has certainly been a positive role model to many people. My Grandpa Wayne has given us all an example to live by and I am proud to call him my hero.

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