A good friend of mine was kind of a military history nut. He was pretty indiscriminate about it; he could tell you about wars and battles that happened 1200 years ago between races that don't even exist anymore. One of his living heroes was a particular mercenary who several times tried to take over small countries such as the Comoros Islands, and occasionally succeeded. Anyway my buddy is reading some very obscure book on a very obscure war on a train one day, and a guy sitting next to him notices the book. The stranger chats him up. The stranger says that he's an, um, problem-solving international consultant of sorts. He brokers unusual deals...things like large sums of diamonds from Africa (no questions asked, of course) and business dealings with various warring factions that don't really have offices or addresses. This guy takes my friend on as a protege/assistant of sorts, and they spent about a year tooling around Europe, Africa, and Asia doing these deals and meeting all sorts of people. I was in Europe for a conference and caught up with him there. He shows me a book signed by, you guessed it, his mercenary hero himself. Apparently the stranger knew him and they all had lunch. Whether all this was fate, chance, or conveniently arranged by the mysterious stranger, I cannot say. FOCUS: We've done variants on this theme before, but with Veterans/Remembrance day today, it seems appropriate. Who are your heroes? Whyso? Did you ever get a chance to meet them? How did that go?