HR 5092-105

06 Jan 04


Many people have heroic qualities but being a hero and having heroic qualities are completely different. No one can learn how to be a hero and no one can teach it. A hero should know how to decide what is right, what is wrong, and what to stand for. A hero is someone that you see as being higher than you in strength, greatness and confidence. You wish someday that you could be just like them. And when you get to their point of greatness you long to go higher. You look past the fame and the media to what is inside. No one else may see it but you know that it is there, greater than anything. They may not think of themselves as heroes or great, but to you they are. You see them as perfect through their bad times and good. You wish someday, somehow, if only for a minute, you could be as great as them. A hero gives you something to live up to. But a hero is not perfect and therefore most always will do something that knocks them down a notch in your eyes. I thought long and hard about who my hero should be. There are plenty of people who I admire, but I admire them for all the wrong reasons. There are plenty of people who I wish I could be like, but once again I want to be like them for all the wrong reasons. To me, a hero is unrealistic. I strongly believe that the only hero one has is the one they find in themselves. Iíve never depended on anyone and never wanted to. Iíve never looked at someone and could truly say that I wanted to be like them in every aspect. I set goals for myself and inspite of everything Iíve gone through, Iíve accomplished them and in some cases exceeded them. Those goals which people told me were un-attainable I strived harder to attain. That which I was told I could not do, I worked harder to achieve. I will never look at any one like I look at myself. I will never pity myself for that which I donít have but instead I will work harder to get it. I will never allow another person to bring me down nor will I allow myself to do so. In that aspect, I can say that my true hero is myself. So instead of writing about a hero, Iím writing about someone whom I admire and who I find that my life has some what mirrored.

Marcelite Harris was born in Houston, Texas. She was born to Cecil O\'Neal Jordan, and Marcelite Terrell Jordan, two parents who taught her to set her sights high, to put her best efforts into getting to the top of whatever profession she chose, and to leap the hurdles of race or gender discrimination rather than letting them block her path to success. Her parents gave her two priceless gifts--ambition and the perseverance to achieve any goals she set herself.

As a child, Marcelite Harris dreamed of becoming an actress. She was born in the middle of World War II, but she had no personal contact with the armed services until she was a speech and drama student at Spelman College. Then, as part of a company on a USO tour to Germany and France, she saw the military life at a distance. After the brief tour with the U.S.O., and eighteen difficult months, the armed services took on a different light and became very attractive with the promise of a steady salary and a chance to see the world. Harris decided to join the troops instead of entertaining them and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

Harris entered the Air Force\'s Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in 1964, and was commissioned a year later. She was then sent to West Germany, to serve in the Bitburg Air Base postal and printing service. While she was there, she became an aircraft maintenance analysis officer at the suggestion of one of her superiors. This new career track brought her an unexpected challenge. She was the first female Air Force officer in what