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Hero – We decided to look that word up in the dictionary. Here is what we found:

  1. A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
  2. An illustrious warrior
  3. A person admired for achievements and noble qualities
  4. One who shows great courage

Apparently, “Sandwich” didn’t make the list.

It’s funny the words we assume we know well, but when you look them up as to their definitions, the actual meaning is often broadened beyond the simple interpretation in which we’ve become accustomed.  And in other cases, those definitions can be expanded even further, based and defined by very personal experiences.  “Hero” is one of those words.

Heroes make a difference.

The single mother who worked two jobs to raise her kids.  That person who lives by example and puts integrity before personal gain.  Doing the right thing when nobody is watching.  Men on a plane over Pennsylvania, who decided to get involved and take on terrorists, at their own personal peril.  Our dad…because…well… he’s our dad.  And the warriors who chose to become part of our country’s line of defense in a world where evil is ever present.

Heroes make a difference.

John’s told you in his first blog that he wanted to take you along with him on this journey of building a non-profit organization, creating videos, websites, training for the race, the highs, the lows, the challenges…and the changes.  And there have been a lot of changes along the way.  For example, we recently made a significant change in our mission, prior to going national, that we feel will bring many more heroes to a place of recognition.

We initially started by concentrating on those men and women who were severely wounded in combat and helping them by improving their mobility options.   That is still a focus for sure.  But we also realized that “Hero”, for our purposes, is not just definition #2 above, but it should also include those men and women who display all the characteristics of what a hero is and who have been injured post service as well.

The only requirement – that they served in our armed forces in their past


That was a game changer for us.  This shift in focus now allows us to recognize and help so many more people contending with very difficult circumstances and specifically where their mobility has been affected by accident, disease or other negative life events.  The only requirement – that they served in our armed forces in their past…and that is the connecting point with John’s hero – his brother Mark.

The Hall of Heroes consists of men and women whom our donors will enter and recognize as they are making their donations to our Foundation. This entry will then be transferred to the Hall of Honor page located on our website.

These people will consist of warriors, persons admired for achievements and noble qualities and/or those who have shown great courage.  And there will be many recognized for other and more personal definitions. Take the time to donate to The Mark Hodel Veteran’s Foundation to help people you don’t know and, at the same time, lift up and honor that person you know well.

Tell us a little about him or her and in so doing, continue their legacy by sharing with the world the definition you have written – that personal definition that defines your hero in a way only you can.


We value our veterans and respect that many of us have a loved one that has served our country. When you donate, we understand it comes from the heart and may be in memory of someone close to you. We ask you to share your loved one’s name so we may honor them.

Once you donate, you will be taken to the Hall of Honor form. You can insert a picture and provide a short comment. All honorable veteran individuals submitted through the Hall of Honor form will be displayed on this page.