Real Life Renegades

As I sit down to write this blog entry, I look around and take in my surroundings. I have a roof over my head, I am free to wear nothing but my Spongebob-Squarepants Boxers, Elvis is playing on my record player, and I am doing what I love more than anything else . . . writing. But this is only possible because of the men and women in our armed forces who, even now, fight for my protection and the freedom to sit on my ass and write fiction. This blog is dedicated to you, brave warriors. Your sacrifice isn’t, and will never be, lost on me.

In my novel, Renegade Rising, I write about an elite, secret group of blue-clad warriors known as The Renegades, who rise above political party ties and fight for mankind without a question asked. Sound familiar? It should. I write about fictional heroes when a real life hero could be sitting next to you in a coffee shop or working beside you. As I said before, if it wasn’t for them, this blog wouldn’t even be possible.

In other countries, freedom of expression is banned, and rights are non-existent. This is not the case with ours. Hell, we even have the freedom to petition against the heroes who brought us freedom in the first place, like the Westboro Baptist Church, a group that I would love to see dragged through a minefield naked. Too much? Maybe, but guess what, I have the freedom to write it.

Now, I want to tell you a personal story and show just how much a kind word or a simple thank you can move somebody.

A little while ago, I was in a Burger King, stuffing my fat ass with about four Rodeo Cheeseburgers (nothing new), when across from me, I noticed an elderly man wearing his WWII veteran hat with his infantry number upon it, sitting alone, and picking at an order of small fries. Now, when I go out in public, I am generally not a social butterfly. I usually keep to myself and talk only when spoken to, but, only God knows why, every once in a while, something comes over me and I find my body moving on its own accord.

Such behavior is usually linked to my temper and my impatience with douchebags. Much like the main character in my Renegade Rising story, Gisbo Falcon, I’ve found myself spearing kids into lockers because they looked at me funny, running head long into a firing squad of paintballers (45 welts across my body in under 15 seconds), and challenging an entire group of seven drunk frat boys to a fight by my lonesome. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.

But that was then, this is now, and one of those moments was about to happen to me again, although this time, my temper wasn’t at all involved. From where I sat, I could practically feel the poor man’s pain. Just a bad day couldn’t have summed it up. The guy was most certainly standing on the edge, ready to jump, but it seemed I was ready to jump first . . .

Before I knew it, I was out of my chair, walking over to this old man. Upon arriving, he looked up at me with a worried glance as I thrust out my hand and thanked him for fighting for my freedom.

My words sort of hung out there as he looked up at me with old Bambi eyes that suddenly welled up with tears. Even now, I can picture the man’s face perfectly in my mind. His jaw dropped, his jowls trembled a bit as he tried to speak, but couldn’t. There were only tears. He then grabbed my hand and shook it hard and did not let go as he tried to find words. As he held my hand and squeezed, I could feel his strength and calluses and, as a man should, he looked me straight in the eyes as he shook. After a long ten seconds, he finally, through sniffles, said,

“Nobody ever thanked me . . . us . . . for what we did. God . . . God bless you, son,” the man said as he let go of my hand, stood up, gave a deep sigh, and walked out with his head held high.

Now let me tell you something, no matter how bad you think you have it, you really don’t. Just living in the United States, the greatest country in all the world, puts you ahead of most everybody. Never, and I mean never, take it for granted, and never forget what makes our country great . . .

Thank you, Army, Thank you, Marines, Thank you, Navy, Thank you, Air Force, and Thank you, Coast Guard. You all inspire and mean the world to me, and as a thank you, 10% of all my Renegade Rising sales are donated to The Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps our injured veterans get their lives back.

God bless you all.

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41 Responses to Real Life Renegades

  1. America’s Military: all gave some; some gave all.

    On Veterans Day, I go to the local VFW to have a heaping plate of “SOS” – military-types reading this will know exactly what I’m talking about.

    At the V, there’s a small table, off in the corner. I take a minute and think there but the Grace of God go I.

    What is that small table about? Link here:

    It’s a YouTube, about six minutes long, describing what that table is about.

    Here’s the description, of that YouTube:

    POW/MIA Missing Man Table Ceremony video was created for the Illinois Women Veterans who will be having a Pow/MiA Recognition Ceremony in Flora, Illinois. This ceremony is a solemn reminder of those who sacrifice so much for the freedom in this country. This version does not include Taps, but only Amazing Grace on bagpipes and the voice over script as printed on the screen.

    Take about 6 minutes of your time, and go watch that YouTube.

    Freedom isn’t free.

  2. Wow! Awesome post. Here’s a thank you to all our US armed forces from me. Thank you for coming to the islands of Indonesia and rescuing two young people (who would later fall in love and create me), from a WWII Japanese POW camp. You sacrificed a lot. Thank you. You really are heroes and Real Life Renegades. ;)

  3. Our organization have been HUGE supporters of our Vets. We have honored them each and every year in some way. This year Bay Area CU sold commemorative coins and stams with 100% of the profit going to Honor Flight Northwest Ohio. We do what we can…it’s the least we can do! But today, tomorrow and everyday we can at least THANK A VET!!!

  4. Thank you for using your God-given talent to show appreciation where it is due. To our Soldiers: our brothers, our sisters, you are family. God Bless you and may God Bless and heal our service men and women. “Lay your weary head to rest, don’t you cry no more.”

  5. J C, what a beautiful, raw and moving tribute. I notice more and more each day that people who are unhappy about our troops in the middle east, put that criticism on our troops, and it hurts. Just yesterday, a woman on facebook replied to a comment I made in a string that began with someone complaining that the taxpayer supports our troops, financially, with respect to health care, education, basic income, etc. My comment was:

    ‎…i’ll pay his paycheck, educate him, and provide him with health care given his willingness to die for me… To which, someone else replied:

    sure he may have all those but he is OWNED and forced by the government to kill. There are many Americans who are willing to work fact they worked so hard they earned a Masters Degree on THEIR own money and now are unemployed. The Occupy wall Street folks are not looking for handouts by the gov. they are looking for jobs and persecution for those in the Fed Reserve and the banking system to be punished for their crimes. And if anyone thinks this war and this soldier is fighting for democracy, or against terrorism..they are missed informed.

    Now, I don’t believe anyone wants to see our troops go to war. Just because we support our troops doesn’t mean we are war-mongers. All of us wish for peace, perfect peace. But, we live in a flawed world. The ignorance that bothers me in all of this is that each and every young man and young woman who wears the uniform says, “I’m willing to follow the orders of my Commander and Chief without argument, to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, to defend freedom anywhere, and to do all of this with full willingness to die… Not just to die for the freedom of Americans, but to die for the freedom of men, women and children all over the world.”

    This is what we all should remember. And, these brave men and women, take that oath at the age of 18, when most of us are still flailing around trying to figure out what to do now that we are out of high school and responsible for our own lives.

  6. Great piece!

    Your words could not be more rooted in the essence of the true American spirit.

    I hope that you continue to spread the Truth.

  7. mfrancomb

    Thanks for taking the time to remember and appreciate the many who have served since the founding of our great country. I loved your bringing out this point:

    “Now let me tell you something, no matter how bad you think you have it, you really don’t. Just living in the United States, the greatest country in all the world, puts you ahead of most everybody.”

    Having traveled the world, even with our problems, there is no place I’d rather be. Our life here is tremendous even in the low points.

    Keep up your writing and sharing your opinions. It’s truly one of the reasons many of us decide to serve.

  8. J.C.,

    What a motivating and inspirational post. Such a simple gesture that can have a powerfully resounding meaning to someone. We all have mixed feelings about war, but regardless of those personal convictions and beliefs, our veterans’ welfare should transcend this. Our nation has come full circle over the past half-century, from the heroes of WWII, to the unknown soldiers of Korea, to the despised draftees of Vietnam…and I hope now back to an era of understanding and respect for our new generation of veterans. However you look at our nation’s leadership, no matter which side of the political or activist line you stand…these men and women deserve our support.

    Thank you for graciously donating 10% of your Renegade proceeds to The Wounded Warrior Project…they desperately need the funds. This generous gesture says a lot about you, and I am glad to have made your acquaintance.


  9. Deandra Marie

    Such an inspiring post. In the small village I grew up in (Pecos, New Mexico) Almost every one of our elderly men are War vets. Now they are known as town drunks. No one wants anything to do with them, no wants to even see them. They are alone. They fought hard for our country, for our very rights we take for granted and they get absolutely no thanks. It’s sad to see. I think everyone should thank every veteran they see, young and old. And not just today, EVERYDAY. AND not just say, thank you, actually be thankful. No one should take for granted the luxury we have just being United States citizens, and it’s because of men and women who take the chance at ultimate sacrifice for us. Thank you for your post, and thank you for making that man’s day.

  10. Hi there. Your point about supporting the vets is one that never wears old or outdated. It is a reality we all must embrace. Leading younger, somewhat ignorant generations to understand and value the sacrifice of veterans is a noble task. I hope Renegade Rising will do just that. Good luck.

  11. Wonderful story JC. My Dad served 20 years in the US Army and I know exactly what it means when a stranger would walk up to him and thank him for his service. I could see it all over his face everytime. Really beautiful to see.

    I donate royalties for my book to Wounded Warrior Project as well! We need to get together with our books and plan something big I think! You can learn about my book at my website: Let me know if you’re interested in putting something together.

  12. Jodie

    Great piece.
    My Veterans day memories over the years have been in high school in marching band being in the parade always in freezing rain. Never did I appreciate this day until as an adult.
    I have memories of stories my grandfather used to tell me about his army days. He loved the army has fond memories. Though he fought in the Korean War he never complained about it. I also have a great grandfather who was in WWII yet he was a German solider who was forced into the army. That is all I know about his time in WWII also he never wanted to be a soldier.
    I have a great perspective of family who fought to serve their country. I’m proud of the men and women who do. It is a job for them as well and rather those who disagree what is going on now we can’t blame them only those who placed them their. Yet at the same time they are working to keep us sleeping safe and sound at night.

  13. Linda Eckert

    Happy Veterans Day to my fellow Marines and members of the Armed Forces! And thank you to all of you who support us in the military! If it wasn’t for people like you all who are behind us 100%, we wouldn’t be standing today!

  14. Being a former service member myself, I am always filled with pride on this day to salute the ones who went before me. I am PROUD to say I am a veteran!! God Bless you for writing such a great book!!

  15. we are land of the free, because we are the home of the brave! THANK YOU VETS! we love you!

  16. Fantastic post J.C.! Our veterans deserve our love support and respect regardless of how we may feel about the wars they were called to fight! My dad is a WWII veteran, turned 90 at the beginning of this year and I try to be with him as much as I can. He flew missions out of Italy where I am currently and went MIA when he was shot down behind enemy lines. He was rescued and never really spoke much with me as a kid about his experiences. I have since read a lot about it, thank him every time I am together and I really appreciate our men and women in uniform. Thanks for tweeting me!

  17. Charlie

    That was so beautiful that you wrote and I know that so many have appreciated your dedication to this country. In every system there are some wrongs, but I have seen how so many other countries abuse their system and their people. Freedon is not easy and sometime we have to die to protect it for not only the country but for the people in it. This is the reason so many have made the journey from their home country to ours to find a freedom that they have only heard about and longed for. If we do not fight for our freedom then one day it will be only a memory and where will we go once it is lost.

  18. Back in 2009, I’d just finished covering the Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial — in the end, Alan Ray Andrade was convicted of First Degree Murder and a Biased Motivated Crime (a Hate Crime). TruTV covered the trial, so at the end of the trial I was interviewed on air by Lisa Bloom, then a TruTV anchor.

    She or her staff had done their homework on me, and had discovered my Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT story that at that time posted on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) website. In reading that story, Bloom or her staff discovered I was a disabled Persian Gulf War vet who retired after 20-years of service in the U.S. Navy.

    Bloom began her interview of me by outlining my military service, and then thanked me for my service. As a transgender veteran — as someone who transitioned from male-to-female after my retirement — Bloom thanked me on air for my service. It surprised me tremendously that she did that because to that point, no non-LGBT community member had ever thanked me for my service.

    I finished that interview without crying, but my eyes well with tears whenever I think of that moment. It’s a moment I’m going to remember the rest of my life.


    Video of the TruTV interview:

  19. Lauren Fournier

    Wonderful post JC. What an inspirational and motivating story. Days like today, and posts like this, really puts things in perspective as to how good we Americans have it– I just wish it didn’t take Veteran’s Day to make it on the forefront of our minds. Please keep writing, you have a gift.

  20. Great post! Thank you for sharing! Agreed… “greatest country in all the world!”

  21. An excellent and thought-provoking commentary on our Veterans and all they have done and still do for us today. They are almost like a secret society in some ways….they have been through things many of us will never know and they are around us all the time, seen but not seen…and any one of them would throw down their lives for us in a moment. Thank you for spreading the word that our Veterans must not ever be forgotten.

  22. Alex F

    A huge shout out to all my friends who has family serving and/or served in our Armed Forces this Veterans Day. It’s your sacrifice that we have what we have. God bless!

  23. Shout Out to all veterans: Thanks for your courage to accept the call and your dignity of service in the armed forces. Happy Veterans Day!

  24. JHarris @Nolineup

    Thanks JC for putting into words, what too often goes unsaid about the great men and women that, sacrifice so much of themselves to bring freedom and peace to the rest of us. Real Life Renegades, a fitting title and tribute to be sure. If we could all show the bravery and resolve of those serving in the world’s peacekeeping forces, to protect the freedom of the innocent, oppression, tyranny, and genocide would appropriately be found only in the pages of Websters. To the beacons that shine a light on the world, and lead us all out of darkness, I will never forget and solute each and every one of you.

  25. Rebecca Lipe

    Thank you for what you did for that gentleman. When my husband returned from Vietnam, he had to be in uniform to get military discount on his flight home. As soon as the plane took off he went into the bathroom, took off his uniform, threw it in the trash & put on civilian clothes. This was not an isolated incident. Most returning vets didn’t want it known they were vets because they were treated so terribly by the American people. One side called them baby-killers & other side said US was losing the war because they weren’t good soldiers, neither of which was true. It was a very sad time in our history and I hope no other American generation of veterans will be treated so poorly.

  26. Erynn

    I’m a vet myself, Cold War era, disabled with PTSD and an alphabet soup of other problems arising from my service and its aftermath. The military system itself, and not just going to war, is damaging to people. If you want to thank veterans and servicemembers, part of the way to do that is to not allow our government to make war.

    The fact that in some ways we have it better than people in many other countries doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems here at home that desperately need to be addressed, from economic inequity and poverty to human rights abuses to environmental restoration to education to health care. It is our responsibility to address them and to work for change, not to bury them under empty “we’re number one” talk. We must open our eyes to the problems here, as well as the blessings we have, and to move forward from there.

    It is important to recognize the sacrifices that servicemembers and veterans have made and are making, and the rights that we sacrifice while we are in service, supposedly to protect the rights of our fellow citizens. It is also important to recognize that the wars happening now are not wars for freedom, they are wars for oil and for economic and political manipulation. These are not the things I swore to protect when I signed up. I didn’t swear to protect and defend the corporations, I swore to protect and defend the constitution and the rights that have been torn from us by self-serving politicians and their corporate masters.

    If anyone wants to thank me for my service, do it by working to change the way our country works and finding ways to restore the freedoms we have lost to fear and greed since 2001. Do it by bringing my brothers and sisters home from foreign lands where their lives are at risk, and not sending them off again without a damned good reason. Do it by making our country, and the world, a better, more compassionate, and more just place. Do it by demanding and exercising the rights I fought for you to have, like the right to vote, the right to privacy, the right to free assembly. Do it by engaging in civil discourse rather than polarizing partisan politics. Do it by not romanticizing violence and war. Do it by recognizing and honoring the damage that military service has done and is doing to us, without making us into victims in your rhetoric.

    I served in the Navy from 1979-1982. I fought hard to get thrown out of the military because it was quite literally killing me. My entire family has been military for generations. My brother is still in the Air Force Active Reserves, and is currently serving as a civilian construction contractor in Baghdad. To me, none of this stuff is theoretical. It’s all very up close and personal and it haunts me every day. I desperately want the world to be a better place and do what little I can to aid in the effort to make it so, and to try to make up for my part in the oppression that the US military perpetuates. When you spend several years sending messages to ships and subs at sea that may or may not have launch codes for nuclear missiles in them, never knowing if that one message you’ve just sent will be the order that starts World War III, you may well end up questioning your entire purpose for being. It’s a hell of a lot to carry, even if you’ve never been shot at.

    Next time you thank a vet, think about what you’re asking them to do in your name.

    • John Archer

      I want to preface my upcoming questions and comments by saying I am confused by your post. I also mean no disrespect, however my default personality is “ASS” and I was born 99.94% tact free. With that being said I am going to try to be as tactful as a US Army Infantry Vet can possibly be… all I can be.

      I don’t understand how or why you have PTSD along with the other syndromes you say you have? According to what you wrote and what I know of history, you were never involved in any chain of events that lead to the launch of a nuclear warhead. Also during the time you served, there were very few conflicts if any that you could have been involved in. Finally, you yourself said “It’s a hell of a lot to carry, even if you’ve never been shot at.”

      I for one am glad to have served and know I was not damaged because of my service. If anything I’m a better person. I learned about being accountable for my actions as well as inaction. I learned what my step father called hard work was a picnic compared to the Army. Many of the skills I learned helped me move quickly into upper management in several companies, ultimately leading me to start two businesses. The value of trusting someone else with your life and having that trust reciprocated. Rugged individualism and self reliance were reenforced. I was able to learn combat lifesaving skills. How to relate to many different people. My listening skills were sharpened as well as my critical thinking. I learned the art of attention to detail and many more skills to numerous to mention. Yes this is anecdotal evidence but I don’t know anyone who didn’t come out of the military a better person.

      Even after all all this time you seem to be carrying your years of service as a mill stone. According to what you wrote, your time in the Navy crushed you mentally and physically. How did this happen? You said you tried to get thrown out of the Navy. I would like to know more, like what actions did you take? Did you refuse training or did you do other things that may or may not have lead to you being disciplined? The refusal of training route should have been known to you at that time and was probably your best option.

      As for your comment “It is our responsibility to address them and to work for change, not to bury them under empty “we’re number one” talk.”
      You missed the point JC was making. It’s not about this country being #1 because of it’s military or economic power. Neither is it a testosterone fueled chant akin to fans cheering for their team. It’s about the freedom and opportunity the United States offers. It has allowed us the best standard of living in history and the ability to not only better our own station in life but to help countless others across the world.

      I will address your “…wars for oil and for economic and political manipulation.” claim, with this one run-on sentence and another quote of yours with a short observational sentence of my own. We have taken no oil, our economy stinks and both parties have suffered for these wars but neither party has totally pulled out. “These are not the things I swore to protect when I signed up.” You’re off the hook, your service ended almost 30 years ago.

      Your next paragraph started me thinking that you have an agenda here. Especially when you used the date 2001 to mark the time you seem to think this country took a wrong turn. The seeds of this current economic situation had been sewn long before that date. I won’t get into Barney Frank’s role in the whole Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae housing debacle. Both parties were responsible for this and they, the politicians need to be held accountable. I realize there are some problems with how a few corporations have taken advantage of situations our “public servants” have allowed to happen or willingly participated in bringing those situations to fruition. (By the way, our public servants are neither.) It’s the politicians who have the power over the corporations not the other way around. Do they work hand in hand at times? You bet! However I believe you are focused on the puppet and not the puppet-master in this situation. This particular topic is way to big for me to get into any deeper.

      The second part of your paragraph and the next one are probably the most confusing to me. Here are two of your quotes that are causing the confusion I speak of. “Do it by demanding and exercising the rights I fought for you to have,” & “I fought hard to get thrown out of the military because it was quite literally killing me.” First of all you didn’t fight for anyone but yourself as you tried to get out of a commitment you made of your own free will. The draft ended in 1973, 6 years before you claim you enlisted. Then you have the nerve to say your service was literally killing you? I don’t know what you were attempting to accomplish with this but you served in the Navy during a time of peace. How fragile are you? You mention earlier in what I believe to be a twisted tale of half truths at best, “Do it by recognizing and honoring the damage that military service has done and is doing to us, without making us into victims in your rhetoric.” Not once did I read any rhetoric about victims. In fact his entire blog was about one man who served this country and another man who recognized his service. You took this awesome heart felt story and used it to spout your tripe and whine about how horrible your life is because of the time you served in the Navy. You never sent a message that launched any nukes. Rejoice! All your problems have been self induced. You can recover and move on with no guilt!

      I realize I got a little harsh there at the end and I hope you do recover from what ever is you are suffering. Thank you for reluctantly serving our country but please don’t tell this story to anyone again. It’s not at all what we, the men and women who served proudly are all about.

      P.S. The Dems and Reps need to be thrown out of office. Both parties are ruining this country. They are only concerned about getting re-elected and they will say and do anything to keep their cushy jobs. Remember most of these people couldn’t cut it in the private sector, why do we think they can do anything positive? 100% turn over every election!
      (Geeze this John Archer guy needs to shut up!)

  27. Janray

    My brother you are one he’ll of a talento guy. Keep the integrity and relevance warmth in witch you express yourself. Im glad I read your blogg and will continue to read all of you express. Love you my brother! the world needs more humanity and you practice it. Cordially, Janray

  28. Gloria Houlne

    Nice job with this article. I am so glad you stepped up and spoke to this man!

  29. Dick Simmions

    I always say if you cant bring yourself to stand behind our troups then feel free to stand infront of them!!!!!

  30. Laura

    He will never forget your handshake.
    Your thank you means so much to so many.

  31. Brenda Pancratz

    It’s a beautiful story and you sound like a beautiful person. Good for you.
    And God bless you. I’m still not pleased with how vets are treated/living .
    They should be treated/living so much better than they currently are. My dad is one of those heroes. Thank you for this post… it’s Beautiful!!

  32. John Archer

    Once again you hit the nail on the head!

    I am truly humbled every time I am thanked for my meager service. I guess we all have hero’s and mine are the men in my family. Almost every male in my family (both sides) have served in the military as far back as The English Civil War 1642~1651. I think he was a bowman.

    I don’t see what I did as a heroic deed. Ever since I could remember I have been extremely patriotic. I drew pictures of tanks and played with Army men. For me it was a forgone conclusion, I was going to join the US Army Infantry. Very few of the men in my family ever made the military a career, neither did I. For us it’s our unspoken duty.

    The Warrior Class is still alive in the good ol’ USA and I pray it always will be. Thank you to all who have served and thank you to the men and women and their families who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

    I know I would have been reading your books during the long hours with nothing to do while waiting for orders. In the units I was in we almost always read fiction and nonfiction war stories. Go figure…

    Thank you again for your kind act and love for our military and country.

  33. Janice

    TY for letting me a part of this. As a female veteran, I’ve stood in the shadow for so many years, despite having help to break some (military) glass ceilings along the way. Saying a ‘thank you’ and (especially for Vietnam Vets) ‘welcome home’ means more than you can ever know, so don’t stop remembering – we do appreciate it!

  34. I am always impressed by the calibre of people that have th knowledge, respect, and foresight to thank a military veteran. Thank you, sir, for your wonderful story.

  35. JC,

    Thank you for the words and the sentiment, beautifully expressed.

    As the 5th generation of a military family myself, all of whom saw conflict (Royal Navy, British Expeditionary Forces, Army and with Uncles in the RAF ~ all from the UK but Wars we shared,) and with my daughters being the 6th generation with their Dad serving in the USAF for Gulf War I, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    We have all been proud to serve with or without recognition, but the feeling of support and understanding when it is offered makes it worthwhile.

    Like you I seek out the old warriors and say my ‘Thank You’s’ , ‘WHOO YA’ , ‘Semper Fi’ or ‘Fair Winds and Following Seas’ to the surprise, and sad to say gratitude from many who aren’t sure what response they will receive. I’ve been proud sometimes to buy them coffee or stand and talk swapping the stories warriors do. As I get older the warriors get younger, sometimes beaten and frequently with that thousand yard stare but always proud and ever brave and true. Heroes. As Janice said – no matter how little is said in response I can tell you the words mean so much. The comradeship of a clasped hand, a nod, a smile, a hug make the loss we have all endured easier to bear. I only wish everyone appreciated their sacrifice and service as we do!

    I wrote my own “Letter to the Military” a year ago when Veterans Day hung heavy on my heart I would be pleased if you would share it with any veterans and military you come across.

    Your renegades have a great pedigree coming from this inspiration, and you surely would have made a great comrade in arms. I think with the quality of your writing we will see more of them and you.

    Laine D.
    “Aspire to Inspire”

  36. J.C. – Thank you for writing this, and for acknowleging what many seem to forget: The freedoms we each have and our ability to exercise them was borne of the service of our veterans.

  37. I remember wearing my uniform in public for the first time. It was summer and as I walked outside I heard a little kid say to his mom…..”look mommy, a soldier.”. I felt very proud. Well done, for having the courage to approach a complete stranger and speak from the heart.

    • Hilary

      JC, thanks so much for writing this. Veterans Day is over, but we should be watching for veterans and doing what we can to help them come home in every sense with gratitude and kindness.

      John Archer, thank you. You are awesome.

  38. John Archer

    Thank you Hilary. This topic is obviously near and dear to to my heart. I must also give credit to J.C. for reigniting my passion for textual intercourse. He’s the closest thing I have to a muse or e-muse, if you will. I mean that in the most platonic manly way, of course.

  39. Thanks for writing this. I hope that your expression of gratitude will inspire others to do the same.

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