Albert William Anderson

by Gunnar from Billings

"Heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things."

My Hero

I have always admired individuals that work hard, become successful, and give back to the community. My grandfather was of those individuals that I admire dearly. At the early age of 14, my grandfather was left with his 12 year old brother to fend for themselves in Charles City, Iowa. In 1942, there was no work in Charles City, so my grandfathers’ father had to go to Seattle to earn income. Grandpa was immediately responsible for the safety of his younger brother without adult supervision. Within a few days, my grandfather took his brother, hopped a train and headed towards Seattle, Washington, to find his father.

Upon arriving in Seattle, grandpa immediately started looking for a job to help support his brother and father. The Seattle Shipyards were a busy place and always looking for workers. Grandpa went to the Shipyards and lied about his age so they would hire him. Within three weeks my grandfather was asked to provide a union card by a union boss, and when he could not provide the union card he was severely beaten and thrown down a flight of metal stairs. He was hospitalized for his injuries and when he recovered, his father sent him and his brother to Roundup, Montana, to be with their mother and sister.

Grandpa worked a few years in Roundup to help support the family. When he turned nineteen years old, he was compelled to go back to school. It was very uncomfortable to be a nineteen year old ninth grader, so grandpa worked very hard and was able to graduate from high school in two years. Two years later, he married the love of his life and they decided to move to Billings for a brighter future. Grandpa started working in a clothing warehouse, then as a traveling salesmen, and later as the sales manager for a large company. Thirty years later, my grandfather and my father founded our family business.

While still a very young man, my grandfather was very compassionate about helping those in need. Grandpa coached baseball even before he had kids old enough to be in the game. He also coached baseball the whole time his boys played the game. Grandpa found out that his sons both wanted to be Boy Scouts, so he became a troop leader and was side by side with his sons through all the years of Boy Scouts. He also played Santa Claus by calling needy families and would ask to speak to the children to see what they wanted for Christmas. My grandfather would then go shopping for the kids' gifts so they would have presents to open on Christmas.

My grandfather is a true hero for many reasons. Growing up with very little parenting and having the responsibility to protect and care for a young brother when he was only fourteen years old himself, is amazing. Grandpa became a successful businessman while never losing the importance of helping others in need. To this day my grandfather is constantly helping others with gifts of kindness or paying debts in order for people to live a normal life. Anyone who comes from nothing and becomes successful without losing their compassion for the less fortunate is truly a hero.

Page created on 1/6/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/6/2010 12:00:00 AM

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