WASHINGTON – As a Marine and son of war veterans, Col. Oliver North says he's spent most of his life in the company of heroes. Now as president of the National Rifle Association he's taking his passion for telling their stories to NRA TV and so far, each episode of "Oliver North's American Heroes" highlights men and women of faith facing risk to help others.
Heroes of Faith
"I mean the Bible is full of heroes and you see the purpose of that being related to us is to inspire us to be better than what we otherwise might be," he tells CBN News.
He's shining light on people like Jason Brown, a successful pro-football player turned farmer.
"Jason Brown was the highest paid center that ever played in the NFL and his brother was killed in this long war that we're still and he looked at himself in the mirror one morning and he said to himself – you know, I'm making all this money, I've got the fame, I've got the fortune, he's got the size as you can tell and said I need to do something to give back," North explains.
CBN also caught up with Brown at his "First Fruits Farm" where he grows food for people in need.
"His faith is palpable. He doesn't wear it on his sleeve but what he does with his faith is to show the kind of response that you get to the opportunities that the good Lord puts in front of you," North says.
Brown's commitment to what he's been called to do is also palpable and North says that's a common trait among heroes.
"Commitment is something that's absolutely essential to carrying out the purpose that the good Lord put for us here," North says.
In the most recent episode of "Oliver North's American Heroes" North highlights the heroic duty of Tanner Primmer.
"This is a maritime deputy sheriff down at Cape Canaveral where he's based. There's a very narrow ship channel to get those enormous cruise ships in and out and you can see it on the video."
On this particular day, the cruise ship captain sounded his horn five times to alert Primmer of danger ahead.
Two girls had fallen off of a jet ski and the wind was blowing them into the path of the ship.
"And he [Primmer] takes his boat right in front of the cruise ship which can't stop, and you see that shadow coming," North says.
Video taken by passengers on the cruise ship shows Primmer working to rescue the girls as a giant shadow from the cruise ship is cast upon them.
North calls Primmer's duty that day "an extraordinary act of heroism."
The Power of Prayer
In this episode, there's a moment where North gets emotional while talking to Primmer's wife.
"I asked her if she prayed. And I told her a story about what a wife had told me when we were in the armor business. I made armor, my patents are in armor. And we both got choked up about it, but it's another common characteristic of all of it. These are people of great faith," he says.
However, North fears, these days, the word "hero" doesn't mean as much as it used to.
"You know, you say the word hero and somebody has visions of somebody wearing a spandex suit and a cape, while my heroes wear flak jackets and combat boots and flight suits and they carry guns and badges and they go to work in danger every day," he says, and he tells CBN News, he considers keeping company with them one of the great blessings of his life.