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It was all worth it. I kept reminding myself what a small sacrifice. This temporary pain, it’s so worth it.

When pizza delivery driver Nick Bostic was driving through Lafayette (a suburb of Indianapolis) one night, he noticed a house engulfed in flames with no emergency vehicles. He ran into the house and encountered 18-year-old Seionna, who was babysitting her three siblings, aged 1, 6, and 13, along with a 13-year-old friend.

Seionna had gathered all the children but was still frantically searching for 6-year-old Kaylani. Bostic helped usher them outside to safety before reentering the burning house.

Despite the thick smoke, he was able to locate Kaylani and punched out a 2nd-floor window before jumping out with her in his arms.

Bostic explained that he’s not a hero and just did what he would have wanted someone to do for him and his family if their home was on fire.

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We appreciate the praise that we’re getting, but we’re not a godsend or special people. We’re just ordinary people that did our job. This is what we do and we love it.
Irvin Hernandez, Chief Warrant Officer 2

During Labor Day weekend in 2020, the Creek Fire engulfed the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Fresno and Madera counties, threatening nearly 400 residents with massive flames. In response, an emergency evacuation was initiated, prompting the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade of the California National Guard to spring into action.

They deployed two aircrews, one aboard a UH-60M Blackhawk and the other in a CH-47F Chinook, targeting the Mammoth Pool Reservoir for a critical rescue mission.

The operation faced apocalyptic conditions, with fire encircling nearly 200 people in desperate need of evacuation. The Chinook, typically designed to carry around 30, astonishingly evacuated 65 individuals on its first trip, 102 on the second, and 37 on the third, totaling 242 rescues from Mammoth Pools. A subsequent mission two days later rescued another 175 people.

This display of heroism, with soldiers swooping in under dire circumstances, undoubtedly branded these aviators as sky-borne saviors in the eyes of those they rescued.

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Sometimes it really is all in a days work.

For Brian Geer, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community police officer and Emergency Management Coordinator, decisive action comes naturally.

On Jan. 30, Geer was the first to arrive at the scene of a capsized kayak in Skagit Bay. Commandeering another kayak, Geer attached a rope to the overturned vessel and towed the victim through a strong current back to shore.

A mere 12 hours earlier, Officer Geer was on his way home when he noticed a vehicle driving erratically. Upon pulling the vehicle over, he was met with a woman in the throes of labor. Brian took action, helping deliver the baby on the side of the road.

We raise a glass to Brian, because OY6 serves those who serve.

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True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.

Jane Addams, revered as the ‘Mother of Social Work,’ dedicated her life to uplifting the marginalized and empowering communities.

In 1919, she founded the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and worked for many years to get the great powers to disarm and conclude peace agreements. She helped provide medical treatment to low-income families, education for children and adults, and facilitated social services and cultural events for the largely immigrant population of the neighborhood.

We raise a glass to Jane for her extraordinary actions, which enabled her to become the second woman in history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Seeing a lot of the traumas that take place at work or in the neighborhood, you realize, I don't want this to happen anymore. What do we do about it?

As an emergency physician at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, Dr Rob. Gore sought to do more to help heal the victims of violence he treated on a routine basis. “Seeing a lot of the traumas that take place at work or in the neighborhood, you realize, I don’t want this to happen anymore. What do we do about it?”

In 2009, he started a nonprofit called the Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI) that has funded anti-violence programs in the hospital, schools, and broader community, serving over 250 young people to date. KAVI holds weekly workshops for students in three schools, teaching mediation and conflict resolution. The group also provides free mental health counseling for students who need one-on-one support. School administrators say the program has helped lower violence, raise grades, and help send graduates to college.

Here’s to all the doctors who go beyond caring for their patients – they are also healing communities.

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My goal is to be the battering ram to help break down the barriers to get these patients the care and the resources they need.

In a world of countless medical professionals who have ‘our six,’ we’d like to give a toast to Daniel Ivankovich, the compassionate force behind the OnePatient Global Health Initiative. As medical director and co-founder, Daniel’s mission is clear: to provide medical care to Chicago’s impoverished and unemployed population, regardless of their ability to pay.

The initiative has helped over 62,000 people in Chicago by providing over $1.3 million in musculoskeletal health services without cost.

When Daniel’s not saving lives, he is also known as “Chicago Slim,” a talented blues player who brings joy to fans with his soulful tunes.

Here’s to Daniel and his team for providing care and spreading joy to those who need it most.

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I just didn't want to look in the mirror later and say I didn't handle it. You always go for your brothers - they are family.

In honor of the Veterans of the Vietnam War, we’d like to pay special homage to Major Bruce Crandall who performed legendary actions of bravery during the infamous battle in the Ia Drang Valley. On November 14, 1965, as his helicopter landed with seven others to discharge troops into battle, the enemy volley was so intense that the U.S. ground commander ordered the second flight of aircraft to abort their mission.

Despite this, Major Crandall commenced to fly to and from the battle multiple times to bring ammunition and evacuate wounded soldiers. By the end of the first day, he flew 22 flights providing life-saving equipment and boosting the morale of the troops in battle.

Major Crandall’s story would be retold hundreds of times and made famous in the motion picture, “We Were Soldiers.” Join us in raising a glass to all the Vietnam Veterans who displayed heroic actions throughout the war.

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If not me, then who? That’s what it boils down to. I would do it to anyone in any situation, and I would hope someone would help me if I’m ever in trouble.

Marine Corps Scout Sniper, Sgt. Danny McDonald, distinguished himself through a heroic act that saved a 10-year-old boy from drowning. On May 4th, 2019, McDonald’s attention was drawn to screams from a crowd at Surf City Beach, NC witnessing a boy caught in a rip current over 100 yards out. Without hesitation, he dove into the water, reaching the boy who was not only battling the current but also having a seizure.

With the boy secured and his head above water, Sgt. McDonald battled the rip current back to shore. He provided critical aid alongside a Navy Corpsman until further help arrived.

For his valor, Sgt. McDonald received the Navy Marine Corps Medal, the highest non-combat heroism award. His selfless action, encapsulated by the ethos “If not me, then who?” underscores the exceptional courage and the spirit of service defining true heroism. We toast to you, Danny.

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All we ask is that you pay it forward. You can’t pay it back because Dale’s gone. But you can remember him, and you can emulate him.
Steve Nielsen, Close Friend of Dale

Dale Schroeder, a carpenter from Iowa, surprised everyone with his secret $3 million fortune amassed over 67 years of frugality.

Before passing, Dale had a wish: send small-town Iowan kids to college, a chance he never had. Among the 33 beneficiaries was Kira Conard, who dreamed of becoming a therapist but faced financial hurdles.

Dale’s generosity transformed lives, creating a legacy of doctors, teachers, and therapists. His only request? “All I ask is that you pay it forward,” embodying a spirit of generosity and community support.

People like Dale are what keep this country running, and in his honor and memory, we raise a toast to the lessons learned from Dale.

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I thought it would be hard to see this kid at school every day knowing he needed a kidney, without knowing whether I was a match.

Teachers not only educate but also shape futures and inspire greatness. And often, it extends beyond the classroom.

Eddie McCarthy went above and beyond when one of his students, Roman McCormick, was in desperate need of a kidney transplant.

After a blood test confirmed McCarthy was a match, he chose to donate one of his kidneys to the young man.

Eddie’s heroic actions remind us that teachers do more than educate. They nurture, support, and have the potential to change our lives.