Heroes Among Us

 Posted by at 12:12 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 112016

That fat old guy sitting under the awning of the RV parked next to you drinking his iced tea and watching the world go by was once a skinny infantryman wading through the rice paddies of Vietnam, and he was the biggest bad ass you will ever meet. He left home a boy, spent a year watching his friends die around him, did things you would not believe, saw horrors that you cannot imagine, and came back a man bearing scars you will never see.

The young fellow wearing the orange apron working in the lumber aisle at Home Depot just got back from spending a year in Afghanistan sleeping in the sand, dodging IEDs, and not knowing if he would ever have a chance to take a shower and sleep in a real bed again. He doesn’t go to slasher movies because he spent a tour of duty living in one.


That gray haired woman line dancing at the RV rally spent many 18 and 20 hour days standing in pools of blood in an operating room at a field hospital somewhere just this side of hell, looking into the torn bodies of young men and trying to put them back together and keep them alive long enough to be evacuated to a facility that could save them.

There are heroes among us. We are surrounded by them. Today they drive motorhomes, but once they drove tanks. Today they take their grandchildren for walks in the park, but once they walked through fields of death. Today they laugh with us around the campfire, but some nights they sit alone in the dark and they cry.

These are America’s veterans, and all of us, each and every one of us, owes them a debt we can never repay. Because no matter where they were stationed, at home or overseas, no matter what their assignment was, once upon a time they wrote a check payable to the United States of America for any amount up to and including their own lives so that we can sleep securely in our beds tonight. If you love your freedom, thank a vet. Those are not just words, my friends.

To all of my fellow veterans, thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for you. In honor of Veterans Day, as we do every year, we will be happy to send a free copy of our e-book Overnight Parking With The VFW, listing VFW posts nationwide that allow RVing members to camp overnight. The VFW posts usually limit this opportunity to members of the organization who belong to any US post. Just send me an e-mail at editor@gypsyjournal.net and I will get your copy off to you.

Welcome home, brothers and sisters.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Highland Passage by J.L Jarvis. It’s a time travel historical romance that begins with the heroine blacking out following a car crash on an icy road, and waking up in a mysterious stone chamber being cared for by a kilted man who claims to be an eighteenth century Scottish highlander. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Highland Passage

Thought For The Day – Don’t ever think that the reason I am peaceful is because I have never known violence. It is because I have.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  20 Responses to “Heroes Among Us”

  1. Many years ago i used to ask when will these memories leave ? Now 50 years later I finally got my answer,grateful to have a good woman who understands. I enjoy your blog every day but none more than this one today. Well said,thank you for your service too.

  2. Because of my age (68), I have known survivors of Vietnam. This blog touched me profoundly, Nick. There is no nice war, and my heart goes out to those heroes who have to live with the memories of the horrors. One day out of a year dedicated to our veterans doesn’t seem adequate for the burden they carry. Thank you for reminding us and for your own contribution.

  3. Yes my friend, an you are certainly one of them. Thank you all

  4. Well said, Nick. Thank you.

  5. An thank you for your service my friend.

  6. AMEN

  7. Wonderful post. Thank you Nick for your service and to all other Veterans for theirs as well. You are all true heros!!

  8. Nick, thank you and all veterans for your service.

  9. Excellent Blog Nick! Thank you and everyone serving our great country past and present – Happy Veterans Day!

  10. Welcome Home Nick!

  11. Welcome home brother

  12. Thanks Nick…68 to 79…the only thing I now fear…is losing my temper.

  13. Thanks for this thoughtful and profound blog, Nick. I read it with tears in my eyes. God Bless all of our Vets.

  14. Great Post!

  15. Nick, Thank you for writing a wonderful post reminding us about all the heros that are all around us. My dad used to be that fat guy sitting under his rv awning. At 18 years old he entered WWII. He served in the Pacific Theater but never spoke of it to us until I (the youngest) was an adult. When he finally started to tell some of the stories I understood why he hadn’t been able to talk about them. Soldiers from all wars have seen/or forced to do such horrors they can’t talk about them. My dad died last year at 90 years old, I know he never told us the worst of what he experienced. Thank you to every person who ever served our country! And thank you for reminding us they are ALL AROUND US!

  16. Thank God there are men and women who are willing to make sacrifices so the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms we’re accustomed to. We can never thank them enough and I hope everyone appreciates what they have done. Nick, thank you for your service!

  17. A great blog, Nick, and so true.

  18. Thanks, Nick. You nailed it! Thanks for your service.

    USAF, Retired

  19. Thank you Nick for once again putting the words to the feelings that so many of us can’t do. I thank you also sir along with all my comrades. War is hell, there is no doubt in that at all. Don’t matter the name of the war, they are all terrible and scar so many. Thank you for putting it into words!

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