(Tammie Johnson essay, continued . . . )

      I admire the people that we serve and the strength that they silently share with all of us.  They have walked across broken bridges and created a way to repair them.  They stand tall even when they sit down and never complain about the small things.  They are very ambitious and are always ready to tackle the world head on.  They smile and accept life for what it is – life.

     They inhale every ounce of life and exhale new life into this world and surround and protect us with a shield of gentleness.  If you are having a bad day, they are more concerned about your day than their own.  They make you laugh when they see you are sad, and they open their hearts to accept you just as you are. 

     They do not place stipulations on you or barriers in front of you, and they are always happy to see you, and they express this to you in every form know to mankind.  They offer you love and praises and expect only the same in return.  They show us the true definition of pride, courage and strength. 

     When they are sometimes ill, they show you the power and will of a true fighter.  They are the smartest, brightest and most beautiful people I have ever had an opportunity to encounter.

     They have changed my life in a more positive direction than any course or training could ever offer me.  They have shown me that gentleness is defined as "in a person," not by a definition inside of a dictionary.

     They are the family we were given and are just as important as the family we were born into.  They are my heroes in the culture of gentleness that goes above and beyond.