Specialist Paul M. Ross, U.S. Army

For as long as his parents can remember, Paul Ross knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. "You're talking about a boy who since he was very, very young, 4, 5, 6 years old, this is all he's wanted to do," says his father, Paul P. Ross. And now, at just 21 years old, Paul is a U.S. Army Ranger. His parents believe he has already been directly involved in the war on terrorism, although when Paul's not on post at Ft. Lewis, Washington, his whereabouts are top secret. "You would like to be able to protect them, and this has all of that kind of topsy-turvey. He's the one protecting us. We don't know where he is or what he's doing," his father says.

While the unknown can be un-nerving for this Bartlett family, Paul's mother has faith in her son's readiness to fight for our country. "The day he called, on September 11th, and I talked to him, and he was ready to get the show on the road. Because that's what he's been trained for," says Janet Ross. And that gives his father an overwhelming sense of pride. "But you, you just cannot, no one can comprehend how proud we are of him." So as Paul lives out his dream, fighting for our freedom, his father's message is one we all share. "Just that we are proud, and we love him, and we want all of them home safe."