Robert Dikcis, flanked by his parents, award recipient.
NIAGARA FALLS, NY - It has often been said that "heroes aren't born...they are made"...from the influences in their lives.
That was perhaps personified no better today, than at a school awards ceremony in Niagara County.
Among the honorees at the latest "Do The Right Thing" awards at a ceremony held at Niagara Falls High School, was Robert Dikcis, recognized for his actions at West Street Elementary in the Niagara Wheatfield district last month.
That's when Robert, an 11-year-old 5th grader who was on duty as a safety patrol, was told by other kids there was a fire.
After investigating, he alerted teachers, who evacuated other students before the fire was extinguished and no one was harmed.
But as he got that award, he couldn't help but think of his own personal hero.
His name was Army Specialist Alan Dikcis, Robert's older brother, who was killed in action in March of 2010 in Afghanistan.
"I loved Al. He was a dear brother to me," Robert told WGRZ-TV. "He was the best brother and I would never trade him for anything. He used to spend a lot of time with me and we used to do a alot of things together," he said.
"Al was a good influence," recalled Robert Dikcis Sr., the boys' father. "He was just an all around good boy, and Robert looked up to him."
And no doubt learned much from him in their all too brief time together.
"I respected him then and still respect him now," said Robert. "I wish he could still be here and see this day but I know he's up there and I know he's okay," he said.
And if we may be so bold to suggest...no doubt very proud of his kid brother, as well.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 on Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalists Andy Desantis and Charles Moore. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2