Hi, my name is Keith Lobdell, and I am the editor of the Valley News - Man, that still sounds good.
I am very humbled and excited that I have been asked to return to the Valley News. This has always been my hometown paper, the place where I turned to see what was going on in the area and, perhaps, see a picture or two of my kids.
So, while some things have changed, my mission will remain the same; to bring you, the reader, the best local news, entertainment and sports coverage around. I look forward to working with you as a community to bring that mission to life.
Enough about me, though. What I really want to talk about is the abundance of hero's that we have seen over the past few months.
For starters, there was the homecoming of Technical Sgt. Steve Rodriguez, which was held to the surprise of his children at Westport Central School last Friday. It was a moving event, and a more than deserved tribute to a man who has sacrificed time away from his family to serve our country. This was the least that a community could do to say thank you, and I am sure that the looks on his children's faces was payback enough.
Also in Westport, there has been the moving story of Molly Rascoe, who received a new kidney from Ben Sudduth. Over the last three months, I have witnessed two stories like this, with Sudduth and Whitehall High School defensive coordinator Neal Hughes, who both donated a kidney not to a family member, but to someone in their community who they felt they needed to help. That is being a hero.
And in case that's not enough for you, Ben also serves as a volunteer fire fighter, emergency squad member and is a veteran. That's quadruple the hero in one package.
All three of these gentlemen deserve our thanks and gratitude for showing us how to help our fellow man.
In the case of Ben and Neal Hughes, both men are around today and we have the chance to thank them and congratulate them, the same is not the case for the person who has made such a deep impact on the life of the Marvin family.
On Saturday, Brock Marvin received the heart that he so desperately needed at Boston Children's Hospital. That means that, somewhere, while the Marvin's celebrate renewed life, another family mourns for a life lost.
However, I hope that they take comfort in knowing that, either through their decision or the decision of a loved one, Brock was given the hope and the chance he was waiting for, along with his family.
So to that hero, wherever they may be, we also say thank you.
Keith Lobdell is editor of the Valley News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org