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Who are your heroes?

When I was a very young girl, one of my favorite cartoons was “Inspector Gadget.”

If you’re not familiar with the character Inspector Gadget, think of him as an animated version of Maxwell Smart from the show “Get Smart,” only the inspector is a cyborg, but just as bumbling and incompetent. In fact the same actor who played Maxwell Smart also voiced Inspector Gadget.

Despite his dim-wittedness, Gadget had a seemingly endless supply of gadgets that were called upon by shouting “Go Go Gadget” and the name of the device. The device would emerge from his hat, hands, arms or legs.

Who wouldn’t want to be a hero like Inspector Gadget, saving the world from his nemesis Dr. Claw?

Not me. I was more impressed by Gadget’s niece, Penny.

Penny, a child herself, was the real master of investigation and she was the one who time and time again foiled Dr. Claw’s evil schemes.

She had a computer that was disguised as a book and a utility wristwatch, which she used to communicate with her genius dog, Brain. It was as “James Bond” as any cartoon girl could be in my eyes. I wanted to be just like Penny.

As children, we all had a hero we wanted to emulate, likely one that was animated in a cartoon or a comic book.

But as you get older, you begin to see that real heroes don’t have to have silly gadgets. They don’t have capes and they don’t fly. They don’t fight supernatural forces.

Maybe some of those real heroes have police badges and guns. Some have red fire trucks. Some have camouflaged uniforms and go to far-off countries.

Police officers, firefighters and military service people go above and beyond everyday to be the real heroes in our communities, and most of the time they get very little credit or recognition for their services.

There are also many, many ordinary people who do not wear uniforms but are heroes just the same. People who volunteer their time for organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, hospice facilities, animal shelters and who feed the hungry.

There are people who do good deeds for others and don’t seek any repayment or thanks. They give freely without thinking of what’s in it for them.

These are the heroes you won’t see on TV or in the movies. No one is likely to create a comic book or action figure in his or her honor.

But we want those everyday heroes to know that they are appreciated. And we need your help.

Starting in Tuesday’s edition of The Tribune, there will be a submission form for our readers to tell us who the Unsung Heroes are in the community.

All nominations must be submitted by Friday, Feb. 7, by filling out the form that has been published in the newspaper or simply emailing a short write-up explaining why this individual is your Unsung Hero.

Please include your name, address and phone number with your nomination for verification purposes. You can nominate as many people as you like and this can be done anonymously if you so choose.

As it does each year, The Tribune will feature the best candidates in our annual Profile section that will be published Feb. 23.

Help us recognize the men and women who are truly the heroes of Lawrence County.


Michelle Goodman is the news editor at The Tribune. To reach her, call 740-532-1441 ext. 12 or by email at michelle.goodman@irontontribune.com.