The Cost of Honesty, Honor, and Integrity, and the Rise of a Hero


Honor And Integrity

Another age ago things were simpler, times were not as stressful, and there were not as many very real dangers in this world that we travel in today. It seems that as we all get older we lose sight of that simple truth and for that I feel that we are being robbed of a precious gift. We are being denied the ability to watch this day’s generation grow into the men and women that we wish them to be. I want to thank you for swinging by today, I had been wondering if after the last time we would meet again, but between you and I, it was a pretty sure bet you were an honorable person that has more integrity than you give yourself credit for. So, if you want, pull up a chair and I can tell you some things that crossed this old addled brain over the last 24 hours.

Please bare with me, it isn’t often I get to say things not just as a grumpy old man, but as a wiser one as well. I can’t remember which corner of the world your from again, sorry old age, but I had to share this with you. It is about a local man, a police officer to be exact. You see, I don’t get to say too much about the people that live in my town. I am sure that you have wondered from time to time, just as I wonder about your part of the world. You see this man I am about to mention started to get me thinking about those words I have been speaking so frequently. Honor, Honesty, and Integrity, those are the words that have been instilled in my bones from a very young age, even when I didn’t know the meaning of them. This man below is but one story of the people that walk into our lives daily who can carry the weight of those three words well.

Altoona Police Department - Sgt. WrightAltoona Police Department - Sgt. Wright
Sgt. Wright of the Altoona Police Department

I will have to apologize in advance, I had not planned to write this post about one man, but as I was looking into the man further, I found that sometimes it only takes one man to show someone the path you are looking for. So, to my readers, I am sorry but as you know, I follow the story where it leads. That being said I have to admit that what was at first about the dangers that our youth face on an ever increasing and frequently basis, there are hero’s like this one that are out there showing them that there are people that care about them and stand true and tall in every sense of the meaning of the word hero as James Plowman, another local young adult has pointed out to me today.


In a day and age where the simple act of being honest has become a troubling rarity, it is always refreshing to find others who still believe in the reasons behind the lessons that we learn as children, as to why a lie will never be as powerful as the truth. Sgt. Wright has been a silent leader in an ever increasingly uphill battle when it comes to that word. He has in the past served not only as a shining example of what honesty is worth in the world, he has led BY example. Graduating in 1995 from Central High and then on to college where he furthered his education, which in turn eventually brought him to our community.

Sgt. Wright credits his parents for instilling a hard work ethic and determination for his success throughout his career. I would say that he has not given them enough credit, for in the process of raising him, they also raised a man that would not only come to put in over 16 years in the force, but also to continue change the hearts and minds of others, both young and old, through his dedication to being an honest man.

It is through the act of learning more about this man that I realize that our youth are only taking the steps needed to provide for what they believe to be their safety, and in that we can not find flaws. It is in this day and age that the older of us need to take a stand, just as Sgt. Wright has in life and show the generation that is growing up, that there are men and women that still believe in the value of honesty. It is only through our actions that we can hope to achieve the shaping of our future. In this life we see sorrow and pain on an almost daily basis, and it is the men and women that hold the values of which I speak that not only guide a younger generation, but also inspire them to greater things.


The meaning of the word honor is describe in many ways, the dictionary defines it simply as reputation, recognition, and privilege. That may not seem right to some, but I will try to explain as best as I can. You see for me reputation is what allowed me to build a business, it was that which also became a reason that I was recognized for excellence in the field of computers. Now the third I can’t claim first hand, but some silly people think that when I choose to work on their gadgets it’s an honor. I am not sure this word is fitting of me, but I can assure you that after learning more of Sgt. Wright, it surely can be applied to him.

In starting as a patrolman at the Altoona Police Department, he has rose through the ranks. He has held not only the original title of Patrolman, but also has help the titles of Corporal as well as Detective to eventually come to be known now as Sergeant. It is through his honor that he has gained the reputation of a man that can be counted on in times of crisis as well as extreme danger. It is through honor that he has gained not only the recognition of many within this great city but also throughout the places that life has carried him. It is also the very same honor that has made writing this a privilege to not only write, but to read about a man that has done so many great things is such a short time.

As I have sat here and talked of honor it has also made me aware of the situations that arise on a daily basis in today’s society. That being said it has made an old fool realize that it is in that word, our efforts should be focused with the children of today. You see I had never gotten that as I was growing up, and even our brave officers of this city could attest, it was not until I began to run my own business that the words of my father as well as men just like the one that I am writing about have told many people through the years. It is how you treat people that will earn you the reputation that you will come to be in life. You can be rich as well as educated, but without honor you will be morally broke throughout your life.


Integrity my friends is the word that ties everything together. It is with that word we can face this world with an incorruptible sense of moral and or artistic values, in the end it is the one thing that will make you complete in this life. Many men and women throughout the world that has past, as well today claim to have it, but I tell you now as surely as I am old, a person’s actions will always allow you to see the true worth of a persons integrity.

You see it is that integrity that has not only brought Sgt. Wright to the place that he is in his career, it is also the reason that I am writing about him. You know that I love to write, but in doing so I write about the injustice in the world, the reasons that we as a species needs to do better, and also the things that trouble me the most in the long hours of the night when the fears and doubts creep in, also why your parents have probably said nothing good lurks in the night. It is in doing that I came across a blurb on Facebook about Sgt. Wright giving a ride to Mr. Plowman when it was raining, that one simple act began an after effect that for me I can only describe as awe inspiring. As I read the little bit that I could find about Sgt. Wright it was amazing to me, that one man could be laid out as a shining light in something as simple as another blurb from two years ago which can be found here ONLYINTHECOVE

This man, Sgt. Wright is the man that while I had not intended to dedicate a whole entry to, is the only man that I know who is truly deserving of it as well as any other praise that he would most undoubtedly turn down in his modesty. It is times like now that I realize how few men and women out there today can truly hold to the strict values of the meaning and weight of those three words. So it is not in anger that I think of the next generations now, but with an air of sadness that we have not taught them not through our words but through our examples.

I feel that we may have been lacking in that for some, but I also know that it is not to late to do something now. So please friends I beg of you, it is in a shattered world we live these days, and we are divided over things that in the end we can always fix together. We should always look to men and women like Sgt. Wright, he has shown me that there are men that can lay claim to those three words and indecently makes him eligible for one last title that it is my honor to say, so before I end this I want to thank everyone who comes along on these journeys and from the bottom of my heart I truly live for your company. To you, a man that I have garnered much respect for in such a short time, Sergeant Wright, you sir are man that deserves this credit. The dictionary describes you as a man that is person admired for achievements and noble qualities and one who shows great courage, in that you are a hero, and please continue to be the light that you have, even to me tonight.

Godspeed – From my family to yours here at The Busted Cog, you will always be welcome.

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Xavier Steele
I am 41 years old, which by todays standards is a little too old to beginning a new career. I am retired from my business effective last year due to an illness that my father had. To properly do this justice, let it be known that I had always wanted to be a writer, but never had the follow through to stay on task. It wasn't until my father passed away last year that everything became all too clear, and I was at the point that a mental break down was soon to follow. So in an very unorthodox quest to quell my anger and sadness before it could consume me, I took to the internet. It was there that I found GAG or Girls Ask Guys. I was in love because as I was soon to realize, My Takes are indeed articles, or blogs. I moved from several good pieces and thanks from there to my website, this as well as Things That Grind My Gears, and The Busted Cog on Facebook, keep me busy. I recently began VLogs, but in truth there is nothing more fullfilling than sitting your thoughts onto parchment.