Ashleigh Anpilova


Gibbs talks about the real heroes, and who his personal hero is.

An established relationship story.

Written: September 2007. Word count: 768.





People use the term far too easily these days. And far too often they use it for the wrong people.


We call sports stars and film stars ‘heroes' and what do they do? They win championships and medals and stuff like that. Does that make them heroic? Not in my eyes, it doesn't.


No, for me most of the real heroes are those who no one recognizes as such. The kind of people who don't think of themselves as heroic, and who'd be surprised, embarrassed even, to be called heroic.


For me the real heroes aren't necessarily the ones who go to war and fight – although they can be too. Take Colonel Ernie Yost, for instance. Now he was a hero, but he didn't think he was. Which really made him a hero, in my eyes.


No, for me the real heroes are often those who stay at home. Men, women and children who live with the hell war brings.


Take the Londoners in the Blitz, for example. Duck told about how people would spend the night in air-raid shelters, not knowing if they'd have a home to go out to the next day. Then, when morning came and they saw the devastation, did they just lie down and give up? No, they carried on; they went to work; to school; they did what they normally did. They got on with their lives. They survived; they didn't complain or give in.


For me the real heroes aren't just the ones who get the medals; I should know, I've got more than a few. Did I deserve them? I don't think I did; not really.


No, for me the real heroes are often those who don't get the medals. The ones who carry on without anyone recognizing them.


For me the real heroes aren't necessarily the soldiers, the sailors, the marines, the air force; they're just doing their jobs. They're paid to fight, to go to war, to kill, to destroy, to be killed, to die, to lose limbs.


No, for me the real heroes are those who are in war zones not because they have to be, but because they have to be.


People like the medics, whose oath orders them to ‘do no harm', who don't just treat and save the lives of their own, but treat and save the enemy too. Life is life to them.


And then there are personal heroes; we all have them, I guess. People we look up to; respect; believe in; admire, for whatever reason. Most are well known, and some have the right to the term. But not all of them do.


Take DiNozzo for example. His hero is some film star or other. He's mentioned the name more than once, but I can't remember it.


For McGee it's probably a writer. Is that more worthy than DiNozzo's film star? To McGee, yes. To DiNozzo, no. To me? Guess I'd take the writer, if I had to choose one or the other.


As for Abbs, who's her hero? A scientist, maybe? A forensic expert? Or it could even be the inventor of black lipstick.


Then there's Ziva. I'm not sure Ziva has a hero. I think it might have been her father at one time, but I ruined that for her, didn't I?


And Palmer? Ah, Palmer's easy. His hero is Ducky.


Which means, you know what? Palmer and I have something in common. Who'd have thought it?


You see Ducky's my hero too.




Well if you know him, you'll know why; or at least you'll have some idea.


If you don't know him, you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you why.


I'm not sure I could tell you anyway.


Not sure I've got the words, Duck would have, to explain.


Not sure I want to tell you.


Because you couldn't understand, not really.


Why not?


Because you're not me.


Duck doesn't know, because I've never told him. Not as such.


And if I did, well, he wouldn't really like it. He'd be embarrassed. He'd probably give me a long, rambling explanation about how he isn't, how he's just a man; a person; living his life; doing his job; being himself.


Then he'd go on to explain to me what makes a real hero, probably with dictionary definitions and all.


And two or three or more hours later, you know what? Duck'd still be my hero.


Yeah, Ducky's just like the rest of the unsung heroes: he's just a man; a person; living his life; doing his job; being himself.


Ducky: my hero - and Palmer's.



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