Dear Editor:

I read the articles in this newspaper by Ginny Smith and Rep. Jerry Knowles. They both spoke to the importance of heroes as role models. In every one of our neighbordoods there are volunteer firefighters, emergency medical service technichans, food bank providers, Red Cross and Salvation Army workers to name a few. They are a gift of infinite value to everyone. They are heroes who for the most part go unsung.

Ms. Smith hopes that heroes can inspire both our children and ourselves to get involved. To help someone is a gift "that keeps on giving". Rep. Knowles is asking us to support several bills in our state legislature to create incentives and support for people to get involved.

The economy has and is reducing the numbers of those who give service to our communities. I hope everyone will consider giving time, money, skills, ideas etc. to help our neighbors with their load. I wrote the following for a fund raising campaign for the Five County Volunteers Assoc.

In 1835 an American actress, Fanny Kimble, noted with wonderment, "that our citizens don't even seem to be disturbed by fires. Perhaps one reason for the perfect coolness with which a fire is endured in our city is the dexterity of our firemen."

I think the following thoughts underscores the pride, sometimes valor and dilemmas faced by our volunteer firefighters, emergency medical services providers and many many other unsung hero's when they perform life threatening tasks with efficiency and technical perfection.

Civilians do not see or hear of the deaths damage and disasters that did not occur because of our volunteers valor and training. Civilians do not know of the hours, days, weeks and years volunteers and their families invest in training, organization, maintenance, preparation and sadly fund raising.

Civilians do not know the lost family time, missed meals and sleep.The hours away from work. No time to hunt, fish or just do nothing.

Civilians do not see the scars from the memories of anguished cries that are carried long after the burned or broken bodies have healed,

The homes turned to ashes have been replaced.

The mangled automobiles that someone had to be pried out of that are repaired.The dead mourned and settled in grassy graves.

Civilians do not hear the family arguments; know of the marriage counseling sessions; see the resentment in their spouse's and children's eyes. Or as sometimes results be a party to one of the saddest of all loses, a divorce.

A volunteer's reward is simple and priceless.There is no greater gift of yourself than to help someone in need.

Please find a way to help. For to give is to live.

Vinnie Fusco

Albrightville