Merriam Webster defines bravery as “the state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.”
Brave people have a strong sense of purpose and identity which helps them define their goals and beliefs in a practical way. Once a brave person has dedicated themselves to a project and/or idea, they don’t let anything get in their way.
People who choose to join the military to fight for their countries are some of the bravest people around. The idea of leaving your family, traveling far away, and possibly risking death isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But for active soldiers and veterans, it just another part of life.
This past week, veteran Michael Bliss, 95, demonstrated his ageless bravery by jumping off a diving board to encourage a little boy who had been too afraid to do so.
Michael, who has served in WWII and the Korean War, was enjoying the afternoon by the pool with his wife. The couple was there with family, and they soon noticed a little boy who was too scared to jump from the pool’s diving board.
Although the senior walks with a cane and isn’t as mobile as he used to be, he couldn’t help but teach the boy a lesson about courage and bravery.
In a video recorded by Michael’s daughter, Christine, you see the veteran’s family guiding him on to the diving board while he carries his walking stick.
The moment can be a bit startling to watch, especially when he stumbles a bit and his family gasps— but the veteran refuses to give up.
“He is very spy for his age,” Christine Ross, Michael’s daughter, told USA Today.
“He’s 95, soon to be 96 years old and is both a WWI and Korean War Veteran in the U.S. Air Force.”
“He is full of amazing stories and has a song for every situation.”
When the 95-year-old gets to the end of the diving board, he playfully flexes his muscles before diving into the pool.
“Little did we know he would actually dive,” Kevin Ross, Michael’s grandson revealed.
Christine’s video of her father helping the little boy was posted to the Militarykind Stories, a Facebook page that shares heartwarming military and veteran-themed content.
At the time of this writing, Christine’s video was uploaded to Facebook only nine hours ago— but has already gotten more than 13 MILLION views.
People love Michael’s gusto and encouragement of the young boy.
“Brave soldier,” wrote Martin Prince. “If we could just focus on one positive thing each day, we would be in a better world.”
“Anyone else hold their breath?” asked Stephanie Firm. “Way to go Airman!”
“OMG my anxiety level went through the roof when he teetered on the end of the board,” Terri Sartori shared. “STILL and ALWAYS will be a HERO!!!”
But Michael’s not the only veteran using swimming to help others.
Chris Middleton, 27, is the world’s first double amputee diving instructor, having lost both of his legs in a bomb blast during the Afghan war. He was qualified as a diving instructor back in 2015 and now helps other amputee divers through the diving charity Deptherapy.
See it for yourself below!
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Source: USA Today Humankind via Tout