Another hero left this world this week. No, not in Iraq or Afghanistan. Here in Missouri, in Kansas City North. Charles David Keen passed away Tuesday night, and I attended his funeral today. All I knew about him before I went was he was a WWII vet, and the father of a lady friend of mine. I learned today that in fact he was the father to six children, five still living. My friend and her twin sister were the youngest. They have an older sister, and two older brothers. One of the brothers is a Vietnam Vet. Today I learned Mr. Keen was not only a WWII vet, he was a Marine. He was on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan. I also learned he was "decorated for valor." They didn't elaborate; I don't know what decoration(s) he may have earned. I would guess, however, that having been on those three tropical islands in less than 36 months, the odds are good a Purple Heart might be one. I got no clue from the military honors at the gravesite, either. Listening to the eulogy illuminated so much more again about a generation of heroes. Men who went and did what was necessary, and those that were lucky enough to return didn't talk about it a lot. They simply applied their will and determination to building America and their own families. They worked together, leading by example and demonstrating strength to conquer whatever challenges life presented. He also was an avid fisherman and a hunter. But most of all, he cherished his wife of 58 years and his family. Charles Keen was 86 when he passed this week. Although weakened and left in a wheelchair by a stroke 10 years ago, his sense of humor and desire to live life never left him. In the hour of his death, he still had the strength to banter with the nurses and demonstrate his sense of humor. I never met Charles Keen until today at his funeral. However, I learned enough about him to know I had missed an opportunity to know another great American, another "ordinary" hero. Please, let us never forget these "ordinary" heros, or any of the men and women who have walked in the valley of the shadow of death to protect our everyday way of life. God bless the Marines, the Army, the Navy and Air Force personnel of today, and yesterday, who serve(d) so admirably.