In the wake of the shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, images of the gunman – whose name does not bear repeating – have inundated mainstream and social media. His bespectacled image will doubtless be emblazoned on the memories of countless Americans, along with those of Klebold and Harris, Seung-Hui Cho, and Adam Lanza. That our nation is more interested in the faces of killers than those of the victims is absolutely despicable – and what of our heroes?
“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” Heraclitus
We are a nation in need of heroes, and all too often their very real existence is overlooked for one reason or another. On the day of the Umqua Community College shootings, there was one hero in particular whose actions stand out. Unsurprisingly, he’s an Army veteran.
It all happened so fast, it seemed, and as eyewitness accounts tend to do, the stories vary. Even so, the actions of Army veteran Chris Mintz are clearly solidified in the minds of those who survived, and they are in agreement when it comes to his courage. First, Mintz attempted to bar the shooter from entering the classroom, according to one witness. Unfortunately, Umqua Community College is a gun-free zone, which left the veteran unarmed and unable to match the violence of the coming attack.
“Heroism is endurance for one moment more.” George F. Kennan
When the gunman gained entrance to the classroom, his first round was for adjunct English professor Larry Levine. As he turned his rage on the students at large, however, he found himself faced with an obstacle once again, because Chris Mintz refused to give up. Mintz charged the shooter in an act of selflessness few can or would ever match and, for his bravery, he was shot at what must have been nearly point-blank range.
As the rounds struck Mintz, his immediate thought was of his young son. “It’s my son’s birthday,” he is reported to have said in those first moments. For voicing his obvious love of his child, witnesses say he was shot twice more. The shooter continued on his rampage while the heroic Mintz began to bleed out on the classroom floor.
“Character is destiny.” Heraclitus
Present in the classroom on that fateful day was a nurse who tended to Mintz, also holding his hand as they waited for help. She also attempted CPR on those critically wounded, an effort that must have been devastating in those moments when she understood the fates of those mortally wounded. For Mintz, however, her presence may have made all the difference.
The details of the shooting have been spread wide and far in the media through all its forms. Nine innocents are dead, while reports of the number wounded seem to vary, with 7 to 9 being the most commonly reported count. The man behind the guns is reported to have questioned students regarding their religion, taking his time gunning down Christians. There are reports of the shooter’s ties to the Black Lives Matter group, which is well known for its hatred and vitriol, and also, yes, to personal beliefs rooted in Islam. He is now dead, taken down by law enforcement, which is, in this author’s opinion, far more fitting than being allowed to take his own life as so many shooters tend to do.
Chris Mintz is in the hospital, having been shot a reported 5 times in the abdomen, chest, and hands. In addition to his gunshot wounds, both of his legs are broken. The cause of those breaks is currently a mystery, because although it’s possible for bullets to shatter bone, by all reports he did not suffer any gunshots to his lower extremities. According to his aunt, Sheila Brown, his military past is accompanied with time spent as a cage fighter. Mintz spent 10 years in the Army and was stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington State, a base now known as Joint Base Lewis-McChord. She believes the cause of those breaks may very well be linked to the moments he spent risking his own life fighting to save others, many of whom were certainly virtual strangers.
Mintz will survive, but he will spend painful time learning to walk again.
There are many among us who have lost faith in humanity. Indeed, it is easy to look at the population in general and be discouraged. There is so much selfishness, dishonesty, anger, and outright evil, and precious little good. But good does exist, and it is frequently found in moments of incredible horror, moments when evil is at its height, and the need for that little bit of good is at its greatest.
“True love is selfless. It is prepared to sacrifice.” Sadhu Vaswani
Chris Mintz started his day wishing his son a happy 6th birthday on social media, then headed for his classes at Umqua Community College. He began his day on a note of love and joy, continued it with a streak of stunning bravery, and ended it in the hospital fighting for his life. Chris Mintz is that precious bit of good. Chris Mintz is a true hero and, although some may see his actions as futile, they were not. His actions were what the warrior spirit is all about, and what heroism means. Heroes aren’t found on the silver screen or the football field, they’re found in combat, both while in uniform and out of it.
We should all hope to one day find the inner strength to do exactly what he did, should the opportunity present itself. You’re unlikely to see it coming, and you won’t have time to debate. You either go down fighting, or you don’t.
Never quit. Never surrender.
Army Strong. For some it’s the slogan that enjoyed a 9-year run for the U.S. Army; for others, it’s a way of life. Such is the warrior life of Army veteran Chris Mintz.
To Chris Mintz: Outstanding, and a job well done. Rest, heal, and come back stronger than ever. You are a warrior, and for that, we are thankful.
“There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify – so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.” John Keats
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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