Mottos & Quotes

“Your lifestyle should not be comfortable. It should be comforting.” — Anonymous

For the Visually Impaired

Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.

Warriors with Character

Sam Angert Josh Andrew Steve Baskis Justin Constantine Chase Cooper Bobby Dove Chad Ellinger
Sam Angert Josh Andrew Steve Baskis Justin Constantine Chase Cooper Bobby Dove Chad Ellinger
Mark Holbert Todd Nicely Jon Silk Bradley Snyder      
Mark Holbert Todd Nicely Jon Silk Bradley Snyder      

Character … Armour of Wounded Warriors


In working with wounded warriors over the last several years, I was curious why some warriors had positive outcomes from their combat injuries and others did not?

  • Did those having success call upon their own will power as a means to recovery?
  • Did those not experiencing successful rehabilitation, might they have used up their reserves of will power?
  • Did some warriors possess better “character armour” than others?

In writing Courage in America, I chose to focus on those warriors having successful recoveries. Sadly, there were more warriors whose rehabilitation from injuries could not be viewed as successful, with a… Continue reading

Reflections on Character and Virtue


Blog readers have asked why I choose to dedicate my web site to reflections on the need for developing good character, and they deserve an answer.

By sharing these reflections, it is hoped my own character will improve, perhaps others will be moved to acquire virtue, and finally, readers will be warned of the fearful consequences that ensue when a culture devalues acquiring good habits.

Each post is an opportunity to confront my own convictions, renew my gratitude for a blessed life, and perhaps, stir others to examine character in their own life. It is my aim to make these… Continue reading

Good Choices, Good Habits and Good Outcomes


The theme of good habits, that is, the ability to make the right choices under extreme circumstances, runs through Courage in America…7 Warriors with Character. In this book, my focus was on the right choices made by wounded warriors during their rehabilitation from traumatic war injuries. I showed how many warriors, with much to discourage them, chose instead to get off their meds, get out of their hospital beds, and begin the long and difficult road toward recovery. Wounded Warriors –as well as all who successfully overcome trauma–undergo many hardships and suffer severe pain, yet, through it all, they… Continue reading

Sources of Happiness: Faith, Family, Friends and Service



Decades of statistics from a growing number of social scientists seem to concur that the collapse of the American community is due to such factors as:

  • An increasing divorce rate
  • Secularization of society resulting in a reduction in religiosity
  • An increasing number of babies born out of wedlock
  • Civic disengagement
  • An increasing number of citizens opting for a welfare state

While our civic culture may appear to be wasting away unable to actualize the vision the Founding Fathers had for America, the trend need not continue. Americans might raise the collective bar of responsible citizenry by taking advice from… Continue reading

The Civic Cultural Bequeathed By Our Founders Is Disintegrating

From my days as a university student, later as an American history teacher in high school and throughout my career as a lobbyist in Washington, I have thought deeply about the idea of American Exceptionalism. Sadly the present administration has only given lip service to this idea but actually pledged to “change the face of America as we know it.” In my current vocation, I am dedicated to invoking the old norms of virtue, those that have made this country exceptional and uniquely blessed.



The “John Courtney Murray Jesuits” trained me to see the thread of Aristotle, Cicero, Boethius,… Continue reading

To Be A Man



In future posts I intend to explore a question raised by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics and what Cicero referred to as “the best armor of old age”; namely; what it means to live a life well lived.


My inquiry begins by asking the reader whether the following quote* is a code for males that should be communicated or whether in the more cynical readers view, the quote is merely a series of clichés.


“To be a man means that you are brave, loyal, and true. When you are in the wrong, you own up and take… Continue reading

Too Few Good Men On The Ballot?



As the midterm elections approach, I have been thinking about duties of citizenship. Since the time of the ancient Greeks it was considered a noble ambition to serve the state and be good citizens.

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle (384-322 BCE) describes the happy life intended for man by nature as one lived in accordance with virtue. In his Politics, he describes the role that politics must play in bringing about the virtuous life in the citizenry and in particular, his belief that citizens must actively participate in politics if they are to be happy and virtuous.

Aristotle… Continue reading

Rights and Duties: Private Privileges Vs. Sacred Obligations


This morning while reading  the letters to the editor in The Wall Street Journal; Arms and the Man: Harvard’s Long Military History, I was thinking of a big difference between the Harvard students who have served versus most of their classmates who have not. I think this difference applies to most all who have served versus those who have not. It seems to me that it is more common for those who have served to talk in terms of “duties” while those who have not served speak in terms of “rights.”

It is sad that the latter’s claim of rights… Continue reading

“To be born a gentleman is an accident; to die one is an achievement”*



During the course of executing the mission** of The Character Building Project, I have been guided by a number of valued “thought leaders.”

For example, Paul Stoltz, the father of the Adversity Quotient and the founder of Peak Learning, Inc. has helped me think through what it takes to have our wounded warriors not just cope with their physical and mental scars of combat but how these heroes might “thrive” in their transition to civilian life.

Michael D. Matthews, author of Head Strong;jsessionid=6EA81790D7C0A966EEB5ED19BC04BF84?cc=us&lang=en& now on sabbatical at the Pentagon from his position on the faculty of West… Continue reading

Military Trauma and the Role of the Chaplain



The paper cited below, forwarded to me by the founder of Mission Capodanno will be of interest to our readers and a contributing source in understanding the factors and process of PTS healing. It addresses matters of military trauma, injury and healing, and the role of the chaplain.

Source: “The US Army Chaplains Role During Times of Traumatic Injury and Death in a Combat Environment” by Steven Glenn Rindahl, Spurgeons College, London (Jan. 2012.)



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10 Character Profiles

The Honorable Anne K. Bingaman Charlie R. Black, Esquire
The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. The Honorable William M. Bulger
The Honorable Benjamin L. Cardin Ambassador Richard Carlson (Ret.)
Paul F. Eckstein, Esquire Admiral Thomas C. Lynch (Ret.)
Ambassador Charles T. Manatt (Ret.) The Honorable Richard J. Santorum

Courage in America

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