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Professional athletes get a lot of adulation in America. Not only do they get compensated handsomely for their roles, but more often than we’d all like to admit, they get pegged as “heroes.” And while, sure, the good ones can maybe inspire one to overcome great odds and reach a better station in life than, say, if their model or idol hadn’t existed at all — but they don’t actually save or rescue or protect anybody.

Soldiers and Marines and airmen and sailors and other members of the United States military, however, do.

Unlike Mickey Mantle or a Bronx mobster, the men and women who serve care. About you. About your neighbor, your family. About their country and the freedom we enjoy on a daily basis.

That’s why this story out of Fort Myers, Florida is so inspiring …

Makenna Woodburn is a seven-year-old girl who, the other day, was waiting in line to get autographs from members of the Boston Red Sox, at their spring training facility in the Sunshine State.

In the midst of her anticipation, however, she noticed a U.S. Army Reservist by the name of Olyvia Russell standing not far from her. So, she left her place in the queue, and asked the soldier for her autograph instead.

“She’s the hero instead of baseball players,” the young girl told a Boston CBS news reporter.

 

According to Makenna’s mother, Angie (who posted the photographs on Facebook) one of the players for the baseball team saw the exchange and said “you should be [a] proud mom, you are raising them right.”