By Andy RyanResearcher, FOX News Channel/Army Reservist

The dictionary defines hero as: a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities.

The heroic acts by the US Airways fight crew, NYC harbor crew and tremendous first responders are reasons for all of us to keep striving, keep hoping and never give up in any endeavor. In my opinion, we need to hear more stories like this every day; I, for one, never tire of hearing inspiring stories ... they motive me each and every day. If I do not hear a new story of inspiration, I reflect on the ones I know.

I don't know if I necessarily agree with the old adage, "everyone needs a hero". But I do believe everyone needs to hear about heroic acts. They inspire us; give us hope and reinforce the belief that our actions do make a difference.

Many people say U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are heroes; however, unless a service member is killed or wounded in action or is recognized with an award such as the Medal of Honor, Americans often do not hear of their heroic acts.

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While in Iraq, I fought beside many heroes and it would take years to tell about all of them. If I had to start somewhere, I would begin with 8 soldiers who lived among Iraqis and almost single-handedly freed a town from the grip of Al Qaeda.

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Their heroic acts did not take place on just one day or during one battle, they took place over a six month period.

They did not live within the security of a base; they lived in town on a street where just a month before their arrival extra judicial executions took place. When other U.S. troops did not conduct patrols in these streets; they did and if only to demonstrate to the locals that Iraqis themselves could take back the town.

Their living arrangement: a building without heat where they took cold showers even during the winter. They lived in the line of fire of a known sniper credited with killing at least 5 U.S. service members. For six months, they ate local Iraqi food, donated canned food or MRE related meals.

During their time there, most of these soldiers easily lost 15 to 30 pounds but didn't complain. Their mission was hard, often unbearable, but every one of them wanted to be there. Ask anyone of them why they were there and you'd get the standard reply, "it's my job." I spent a week with these 8 soldiers and I had to ask myself if I could stomach what they did for 6 months -- I honestly don't know if I could.

Within months, the streets were full of life, key Al Qaeda operatives and leaders were caught, and the local government and businesses started to function again; but you never heard of these 8 soldiers, and probably never will. However, does this also mean we should let their actions go untold?

I don't know if I necessarily agree with the old adage, "everyone needs a hero". But I do believe everyone needs to hear about heroic acts. They inspire us; give us hope and reinforce the belief that our actions do make a difference.

So tell me, what are some unsung heroic acts you can share? I challenge everybody to share these stories not just here, but each and everyday. Share them with children, family, friends and neighbors. Give someone else hope and inspiration. Click on "Leave a Comment" below.