Ed Sikora is certainly not the naïve and seemingly slow-witted character played by Hanks, who nonetheless entertained and awed us through his humble genius. Sikora demonstrates those fruits of an honorable simplicity and singularity of purpose that made Gump a hero in everyone’s eyes, even though he never considered himself such. To Gump, everything he did was just “all in a day’s work”, so to speak, simply what a person needed to do. So too with Ed Sikora.
After an upbringing in Antigo that was straight out of a Horatio Alger novel, given Sikora’s impoverished and far from routine formative years, he served 21 years with the United States Air Force and retired as a Master Sergeant in 1975. Sikora’s military career served as the initial motivation for his writing of Not All Of Us Were Heroes. It included assignments in locations such as Paris, Germany and Japan, not too bad for a boy from Antigo who at time of his enlistment hadn’t graduated from high school.
Granting the intrigue that portion of Sikora’s book elicits, likely even more compelling is the “rags to riches” ascent he maneuvered to even be able to begin that climb. Literal in the sense of the rags, perhaps more so in the sense of the riches.
Not All Of Us Were Heroes is available locally at Lakeside Pharmacy and Grocery and online at publishersgraphicsbookstore.com, Amazon.com, and winpresshosting.com.