Upon gaining two weeks leave, Nic traveled across the world to show up at my work. Wearing his camo, he stood outside. I recall seeing a soldier beyond the window that looked just like my son and, as a matter of fact, it was him! On his visit, he surprised each member of the family: his sister at her high school, his dad in his office, and his grandparents at their door. I imagine he felt wonderful for the wealth of excitement we all had during his leave but, of course, he had to return to duty. I was beyond proud of this man of courage and determination, despite my concerns.

Nic is also the Exifficio of Crusaders: Valor for Veterans,the nonprofit I started after our experiences. It is truly an honor to tell his story…the courage of my 17-year-old boy, the one who risked his life for this country. Today, he gives everything and everyone every bit of himself.  He is Nicolas Anthony Ramos, my son and hero.