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A Hero Walks Among Us | Marvel Make Me A Hero


[MUSIC PLAYING] ALEX VAN BREUKELEN:
Hey, I’m Alex. This is Tara. And watch Marvel
make us into heroes. [MUSIC PLAYING] ALEX VAN BREUKELEN:
I’m Alex van Breukelen and I am a retired
United States Marine. I’m an active real estate
investor right now. And this is my lazy baby,
Tara, my service dog that I’ve been blessed with
through America’s vet dogs. So I decided to join the Marine
Corps in February of ’99. I just felt like I belonged
and I just stuck around. So 2014 is when, I guess, I
first had the realization kind of forced at me from big
Marine Corps, saying hey, we think you may
have some issues with some of your past events. So I spent the bulk of 2015 in
every kind of different therapy you could think of. And part of that
was at Walter Reed. They had a service dog program. I went up to Long Island
in, I want to say, August of 2016, trained
with her for two weeks. And now she’s here
with me every day. So some of the tasks
that she’s trained with and she’s helped me out with
is nightmare interruption. She’s actually
trained to come over. I have a lead that’s
on my bedsheet. And if I’m stirring at nighttime
and I’m displaying visual signs of having a nightmare,
she’ll come over and actually pull my bedsheet off. She has given me the ability
for me to be who I want and need to be. She has allowed me to get
back out into society. Any time my mind will wander–
because my mind still wanders. And I still find myself in
not the best mental state. But having her here
is that 100% grounding tool that brings me back
to the here and now, keeps me in the present. She really is the superhero. I remember the old “Hulk”
movies with Lou Ferrigno. That, I would say, is
honestly probably one of my first introductions to Marvel. It was just so cool. You know, a body builder would
go out and all of a sudden he turns into this
huge green monster, just absolutely uncontrolled. I just thought that was amazing. Not being able control that
monster when it comes out. Yeah, I could– I can definitely relate to that. So I love Hulk now because
I’ve watched a progression of over the last 10 years now. You’re going from
just no control at all when you turn into the
Hulk, to just like, yeah, he has full control. And he has taken that
monster and said, you know what, sure,
I might be a monster. But I can control it. And to be able to have
control of that is powerful. The Super Hero that I would
love to be if I could be a Super Hero is not going to be running
around in a cape with armor and a sword, maybe a small– maybe a small Ka-bar. But there are heroes that walk
amongst us everyday, Average Joes, they don’t get headlines. They don’t get the name
blasted on billboards. And that’s why I think staying
as the Average Joe walking around is important for me. I could see her like being
attached to me on the leash and turning it into
something that grounds me. If I could channel her energy
through me to help other folks to be like, stop thinking
this negative crap and you’ll replace it with this. And have them change themselves. Because every one person, again,
especially combat veterans, they have a gift to
give back to society. What I would love
to be able to do is help folks realize
what gift that they have. [MUSIC PLAYING] Super cool. Yeah, I love the eyes. That is great. Look it, Tara. Well, I wish I was in
that good of shape. I didn’t want to be a
Super Hero wearing a cape. I wanted a Super Hero that was– that was just– just me. I think you really captured the
hidden beast inside as well. Like, literally
just the way that the artist captured the eyes
and the anger in the eyes. And you can see Tara
just kind of sucking that right out of me. I could see myself
in my other hand, on my right hand in the
picture being able to reach out to somebody else and pull
that negativity through me and just helping other people
the way that she’s helped me. Yeah, I think they
really captured that. So I think it’s awesome. And I got my Ka-bar. [LAUGHTER] [MUSIC PLAYING] Thank you, Marvel,
for making us heroes. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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