“Be brave. Be kind. Fight fires.” That’s the motto of firefighters, like Hersch Wilson. It’s time to start paying tribute to them.


Santa Fe County, New Mexico

Hersch Wilson, a soft-spoken, unassuming man with a careworn face, is what you might call a reluctant hero. He readily states he never envisioned himself as a firefighter or EMT, and yet he now is a thirty-year veteran volunteer firefighter-EMT with the Hondo Fire Department.

In a recent interview on The Elsa Kurt Show, Hersch explained how it was actually his wife who put the wheels in motion that would forever change their lives.

I never even dreamt about being a firefighter until I was in my 30s. And the story is, my wife and I moved to New Mexico and – Lori, my wife – got a job at a Conference Center outside of Santa Fe.

It’s a rural area, and one day client tripped and broke her ankle and there was nobody there with any medical training and Lori was just embarrassed, and you know, she’s a very determined woman so she said, ‘This is never gonna happen again at my watch,’ so she went to an emergency medical technician class.

Six or eight months later, she graduated, and the instructor said, ‘You know, to keep your skills up why don’t you join the fire department.’ So, she thought that was great idea. She came home and told me, and I said, ‘That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.’

Hersch then chuckled at the memory, shaking his head.

I could not see myself as someone holding axe, or going into burning buildings, or dealing with blood. That was just out of my comfort zone. But she dragged me to the meeting, and it was just being with a great group of people, and they sucked me in. So, that was when I was, I think, 33 and that’s when I said, ‘Yeah, this is something I need to do. This is something that really will change my life.’ And it did.

Still, Wilson acknowledges his love of the firefighter’s life didn’t happen instantly. When asked if there ever was a time when he thought the job wasn’t for him, he grinned and shared.

Yeah. Day one. I thought, ‘I don’t want this.’ So, our first our first meeting that I went to was a medical meeting and I sat there at the table and they were passing on a picture of a crash they had the day before.

And it was, you know, I mean it was kind of brutal images of a fatality, and I got the picture… Yeah, I almost passed out and I said, ‘No, no, no. This is not for me,’ and Lori turned and said, ‘Maybe you could just run the engines.’

Yet, Hersch, seeing the bigger picture, persevered.

So, you know, I think… I think part of it is when you step into that world you realize that you’re going to be dealing with life and death situations. You’re going to be dealing with people in extremeness and that takes some time to get used to.

I think that the compelling thing is that you’re helping people and you’re there in their moments of crisis. so I think I think following that that vocational need to help people and to be there when they needed it really kind of eventually overcomes that fear of all the yuckiness.

And in a thirty-year career, there has been a lot of yuckiness. From fatal accidents to devastating fires, and everything in between, Wilson acknowledges the darkness that can easily consume first responders if they don’t have the tools and resources to help find and maintain balance.

I think seeing a lot of tragedy and understanding deeply what life is about… that life is hard. It is… it is what we’re going through right now, have gone through the last three years. It’s we call it permanent whitewater, right?

It’s difficult, it’s hard and first responders, we always – first responders – have to have a tough skin, and I think that’s true but on the other hand I think being in this work peels back the layers and you get to see what life truly is. And then, you have to make a choice. I can get consumed into the tragedy and kind of a nihilist about it, or I could say, my God, life is short.

I, you know, I have kids and a family that I love. I have friends that I love. I’m only here for short period, what am I gonna do with that? And one choice is to be joyful, to help others, and in helping others and being kind. You kind of find that joy but that’s a choice we all can make in our lives.

It was this understanding led Wilson down a philosophical path, and one of reflection. He shares in his book, Firefighter Zen. The book blends profound wisdom, guidance, and enlightenment with compelling true stories of his time as a firefighter. As the book blurb explains,

“Be brave. Be kind. Fight fires.”

That’s the motto of firefighters, like Hersch Wilson, who spend their lives walking toward, rather than away from, danger and suffering. As in Zen practice, firefighters are trained to be fully in the moment and present to each heartbeat, each life at hand.

In this unique collection of true stories and practical wisdom, Wilson shares the Zen-like techniques that allow people like him to stay grounded while navigating danger, comforting others, and coping with their personal response to each crisis. Every life contains the unexpected and the unwelcome.

How you cope with those inevitable events, more than the events themselves, defines the quality of your life. Firefighter Zen is an invaluable guide to meeting every day with your best calm, resilient, and optimistic self.

Hersch Wilson’s book can be found here and, on his website, here.

About Elsa Kurt

Lifelong Patriot & longtime Police Wife, Elsa Kurt has channeled her fierce love and passion for defending the defenders as the creator, Executive Producer & Host of the Elsa Kurt Show , correspondent and media personality for Right America Media & Law Enforcement Today. Her book, Welcome to the Family (Life Behind the Thin Blue Line) has been called the “must have survival guide for new LEO spouses.”

The vocal LEOF advocate is also a multi-genre author who  has penned over 25 books, including twelve contemporary women’s novelsHer fiction stories explore the complex and relatable experiences of everyday life – the love & laughter, the heartbreak & sorrow, and everything in between. She finds the extraordinary in ordinary lives and puts you in the front seat of every story. 

Christian college contemplating removing former president’s name from library after triggered students complain about history

The following includes editorial content which is the opinion of the writer. 

WHEATON, IL- Imagine if you will having nothing going on in your life more important than finding stuff to complain about. Yet in 2022 America, that is where we find ourselves. Oh to be certain this is nothing new, but it seems to be accelerating over the past year or two.

This takes us to Wheaton College, a Christian  institute of higher learning located in Illinois, where they are in the midst of conducting a review of its “history regarding race” which includes a petition from the recently coined “BIPOC” community consisting of “students and alumni” who are seeking to rename the college’s library, The College Fix reports.

For the uninformed or perhaps “ignorant,” BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Color and is a term that seemed to appear on the progressive scene perhaps a year or two back. In the group’s petition, they complain that James Oliver Buswell, president of the college from 1926 to 1940 had allegedly left a “racist legacy” at the school.

In October 2021, the school formed a task force with the goal being to “conduct a historical review of race,” as reported by the Wheaton Record at the time. Because if race isn’t immediately visible, you need to dig back and hunt for it.

As an email from the current college president, Philip Ryken said, the goal of the task force is to “understand the impact of past events on present realities, particularly the experience of ethnic minorities,” none of whom we might note are current students at Wheaton. But we digress.

According to Wheaton spokesman Joe Moore, he told The College Fix that the review continues even to this day.

“Like many institutions during the past few years, Wheaton College has had periodic conversations internally as we’ve considered pieces of our history regarding race,” Moore said via an email.

“The committee was formed in October and is continuing its work. A goal of the study is to determine—in view of the supremacy of Jesus Christ—what aspects of this history need to be celebrated more intentionally, lamented more deeply, or repented more specifically.”

Delving into the woke is nothing new for Wheaton, which already has gone back to look at some items considered “troubling” by the grievance mob. For example, last year college leaders edited a plaque honoring five missionaries who were killed by an Ecuadorian tribe in 1956. Some people didn’t like the term “savage” to define the “savages” who killed the five missionaries so it was changed to “the most feared indigenous peoples in South America at the time.”

The task force is comprised of a number of people among trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and students, the Record reported, while adding that student reporters have been banned from attending its ten meetings to this point. According to Professor of Library Science Katherine Graber, this was done so task force members could “speak freely.”

“The task force’s work involves investigating programs, policies, and practices at Wheaton using the College’s archives as well as the work of scholars,” the student newspaper wrote.

The college was founded in 1860 by evangelical abolitionists, led by a man named Jonathan Blanchard. So why are they targeting Buswell, who served as the institution’s third president?

Well, according to documents uncovered by the William Osborne Society, no black students were admitted to Wheaton during his 14-year tenure. The society “exists to provide black students an avenue to make their unique contribution to Wheaton College,” their website reads.

Additionally, Buswell is alleged to have written a letter to a trustee that even though he wasn’t opposed to interracial education, he believed “that for a small Christian school where the social contacts are so close, it would be better to avoid coeducation of the races.” Continuing, he wrote that, “I am trying to avoid issue while quietly advising colored applicants to go elsewhere.”

The petition is a collaboration between “a collective of BIPOC students and alumni of Wheaton College,’ and says it is looking to “stand in solidarity with the finding that the William Osborne society found in their research of the college’s history in race and relations and stand in solidarity with the black students of Wheaton who are affected and marginalized by the continuous use of President Buswell’s name for the school library.”

“Removing Buswell’s name from the library will fall in tandem with this nation’s movements to remove memorials that celebrate known racist white supremacists,” it added.

Oh yes, like those avowed racists such as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Despite the narrative painting Buswell as some type of a scumbag, his bio indicates he was a pastor and former army chaplain during World War I, who “was a force that kept Wheaton from embracing the liberal theology popular at that time.”

While he was serving as president, “Wheaton received academic accreditation, upgraded library services, added a substantial number of Ph.D.’s to the teaching staff, and launched its first graduate courses.”

Six literary societies provided training and social activities for many students who went on to national prominence in several professions, morning chapel was a daily experience for students and faculty, and a strong athletics program brought both renown to both college and community.”

Wow…sounds like a bad guy. CANCEL HIM!!!!


Below is an “oldie but a goodie” about cancel culture…enjoy.


The following article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

ANN ARBOR, MI- Have you ever heard of a “Words Matter Task Force?” Well you have now.

The IT department at the University of Michigan has, and have now issued a list of words, phrases and terms which are now deemed to be “offensive” and which should require the use of alternative terms, Fox News and other outlets are reporting.

Among the words or terms considered offensive? Picnic and brown bag…seriously.

According to this task force, which clearly has way too much time on its hands, the list was established in order to “more effectively communicate with customers” by using language that does not “harm morale” or “inadvertently exclude people from feeling accepted to foment a healthy and inclusive culture.”

If you thought we were living in the Twilight Zone, you would be correct.

According to the task force, the use of inclusive language is “imperative to create a culture where everyone feels welcome, valued and respected.”

The task force suggested the use of alternative terms for “men” or “man,” instead suggesting more generic terms such as “people” or “person.”

However, they were really put off by the terms “picnic” and “brown bag.” It is honestly getting to the point where one might be better off just speaking in sign language in order to not offend someone, so absurd is all of this becoming.


In place of “brown bag,” the task force suggested the term “lunch and learn” and “gathering” for the word “picnic.”

Other than the use of the color “brown” which is apparently now offensive if used for anything other than to describe a person of color, it is not known why the term “brown bag” is considered offensive.

Apparently some triggered individuals seemed to think the word “picnic” had somehow gotten its origins in lynching of African Americans, according to some social media language “experts.”

How that specifically tied into our common connotation of picnic, that being bringing a lunch or meal and eating it on a blanket on the grass is unknown.

According to Reuters, the term “picnic” was derived from the 17th-century French word “pique-nique” which was used to describe social gathering sin which those attending would bring food or other items.

Reuters concluded that the origins of the word “picnic” have nothing to do with racially motivated killings. However, it apparently makes the moonbats at the University of Michigan feel good.

Another word the University of Michigan IT department unilaterally found offensive was the term “blacklist,” according to National File. We aren’t sure if they’ve gotten to the whole “Black Friday” thing, but one can imagine in the age of sensitivity that one isn’t long for the lexicon either.

In a memorandum, the “task force” said, “To effectively communicate with its customers, it is important for ITS to evaluate the terms and language conventions that may hinder effective communication, harm morale, and deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from feeling accepted and foment a healthy and inclusive culture.”

Other terms put up to be canceled with their preferred “alternative term” are:

  • Off the reservation- outside the norms, rogue, break with the group, off on your own;
  • Preferred pronouns- pronouns;
  • Privileged account- elevated account;
  • Sanity check- quick check, confidence check, coherence check
  • Sold down the river- betrayed, thrown under the bus (although that might be offensive to bus drivers)
  • Dummy- sample
  • Crippled- weakened
  • Crazy- unthinkable
  • Low hanging fruit- no alternatives given.

However one nutjob college professor said, “For African-Americans, if you say ‘low-hanging fruit’ we think lynching.”

That genius bit of logic is attributed to Mae Hicks-Jones, an adjunct faculty member of Elgin Community College in Illinois.

Not to be outdone by her own convoluted thinking, Hicks-Jones also claims the word “grandfathered” is a racist term. As a grandfather, I dispute that assertion.

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However for this college professor who apparently views the world through a racist-colored lens, she claims the term is reminiscent of the term “grandfather clause,” which she asserts is connected to “privileged white people’s right to vote over that of blacks during the Jim Crow era in the South.

Below is a more inclusive list of the “offensive” words and terms:

"Be brave. Be kind. Fight fires." That's the motto of firefighters, like Hersch Wilson.  It's time to start paying tribute to them.
“Words Matter” task force “bad” words/terms list; photo University of Michigan

On Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, author Mark Steyn slammed the list issued by the university, while specifically singling out their condemnation of the word “picnic.”

“This is one of those internet rumors unconnected to anything in reality.”

Steyn then noted the origins of the word, and said the word was “easily translatable” from language to language.

In addressing the term “off the reservation,” Steyn said:

“You’re just making yourself more moronic and more parochial, moving yourself on to the linguistic reservation.”

Steyn compared the banning of words to the works of dystopian literature, and singled out the George Orwell book “1984,” in which thought was outlawed.

“If you lack the word to express a thought, in the end you can’t think a thought.”

He continued to blast the University of Michigan.

“You don’t go to a university to shrink your vocabulary. Pull your kids out of this school folks, this isn’t a  school anymore,” Steyn said.

He then compared censorship of language to the rioting in the streets.

“If you lack the vocabulary to hold a debate, it’s easier to just lob a piece of concrete through a store window,” Steyn finished.

The university issued a statement to The College Fix about the list, saying:

“This ongoing work around language is part of the ITS effort to create a workplace that is diverse, equitable and inclusive.

“As a unit that is part of a world-class educational institution, it’s important to make sure all members of the ITS team understand the impact of language.

“This effort remains a work in progress, but it’s important to remember this is an educational effort about language that will allow the ITS team to better serve the entire university community.”

We wonder what probably the most famous University of Michigan graduate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady thinks about this absurdity.

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