Editorial: Go and thank a true hero on Sunday

Published 11:18 am Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

His daughter was right. We all should agree.

Craig Hanes is the epitome of “The Greatest Generation,” a term a news anchor coined for the men and women who lived – and served – through World War II, then came home and built the United States into a respected and free country.

He didn’t come home and brag about his accomplishments in the war, though his service warranted such bravado. He didn’t come home and complain about what happened to him when his ship was hit by a torpedo and he was trapped in an overcrowded life raft for over a day, though Lord knows, he had every right to complain.

Craig Hanes came home and went about his business on the family farm. And when he met the right girl, he was married and raised his family the best he could.

If he suffered from PTSD, he kept it inside. If he suffered sleepness nights, he didn’t tell anyone. In fact, it was many years before he even talked about his service in World War II. His daughter says it was out of respect – for his family, for his community, and for those who didn’t get the chance to make it back home.

But his service to his fellow man didn’t stop there.

Craig Hanes was “Mr. Smith Grove.” If the ballfield was being used, chances are that he was responsible for getting it ready, keeping it in shape, arranging games, and selling concessions to pay for it all. If Smith Grove church was open, chances are he was there.

On Sunday, his family is hosting a 100th birthday celebration for Charlie Craig Hanes. Go by and visit, he’ll appreciate it. Drop off a card, he likes those, too.

And witness one of the few survivors who helped make this country great – not for fame or fortune – but because it was the right thing to do.

Maybe while there, you can get a tip or two on how to live a meaningful life.

Lord knows, we need more people like Craig Hanes.

– Mike Barnhardt