- - Monday, November 22, 2010


There is a very happy, exhausted black Labrador retriever at my feet. A romantic fire flickers in the stove in our little log cabin on a breathtaking Michigan swamp-forest ridge. With squadrons of flitting songbirds battling for position at the feeders, the rising sun through the leafless treetops was so fiery and stunning outside my east window just now that I just had to grab my video camera to capture such beauty, then snatch my laptop and write about it. The spirit is indeed wild.

I squint, furrow my brow and shake my head in dismay when I glance up to see the phenomenal, unreal image of my tattered American flag reflected in the western window, flapping and aglow within the flame-throwing sunrise of oranges, reds and pinks against the gunmetal grays and deep blues of an artful cloudy sky. At once, a formation of winging, honking geese soars across sky, flag and trees. I have never seen such a stirring conglomerate of meaningful imagery from a couch in my life. There are special effects and there are veryspecial effects. And I am especially affected.

When I first noticed this mesmerizing reflection of Old Glory in such a surreal setting, Fox News was interviewing Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and his wife, Jennifer, about his receiving the Medal of Honor. This courageous U.S. warrior charged into a flurry of enemy gunfire to join his blood brother in the danger zone. Discovering his comrade had been wounded and was being dragged away by the evil jihadists, he charged harder, shot up the bad guys and retrieved his fellow soldier, bringing the mortally wounded hero back to his team, fulfilling his honorable warrior oath.

I sit here deeply moved by the heroism from such a warrior and by how he stated as a matter of fact that he is an average American military man. I have met and trained with many of them, and I believe Sgt. Giunta is correct. The average U.S. warrior is indeed courageous beyond compare and special beyond description. These warriors clearly are the best of the best.

You may not know it just yet, but this is a hunting story. This is the celebration of our American dream of historically unique freedom and liberty, how costly it is, and how best to use these precious gifts. I pursue life. I pursue my happiness. I am an American. I cannot help myself.

This is the first morning in 74 days that I did not go hunting. I didn’t sleep in, but got up and at ‘em according to my predator body clock and decided to stay in and catch up with some writings, interviews and e-mails and simply to relax.

And quite honestly, to rest my weary, nonstop hunting bones. That Gonzo the Wonder Lab is plum tuckered out, sprawled across the zebra rug by the fire, is a good indication of just how hard we have been at it for the past 2 1/2 months.

Following a brutally exhilarating and most gratifying tour of 63 ferocious rock ‘n’ roll concerts in 71 days, you would think a little rest was in order. Maybe?

I was raised to be the absolute best that I can be, to put my heart and soul into everything I do, to waste no time and to live life to the fullest every day. Nothing less is acceptable or tolerated. At the tender age of 62 years young, my energy level and passion for life grow with each passing year.

I spoke with U.S. Marine Sgt. John Blank yesterday at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where this American military hero is recovering from the loss of both of his legs and near-loss of his left arm. He is my hunting buddy, but he also is my hero. That John and his family would go to the effort to get in touch with the old Detroit guitar player at such a traumatic time in their lives is inspiration enough for me never to give up and to cherish and celebrate each and every day with which God blesses me.

John, like all the amazing warriors of the U.S. military, knew darn well what he was volunteering for when he signed up to fight the war on terror. In spite of the threat of death and destruction, he and the others signed up anyway because it is who they are.

People have noticed that I am an extremist, a radical. Good call. I am extremely alive and celebrate this sacred, radical experiment in self-government that we call the American dream with every fiber of my being every day in every way. I believe that anything less is a waste of breath and disrespectful toward those who sacrificed so dearly to provide it.

So, as the sun rises and changes colors now, the songbirds increase their feeding, Gonzo snores and whimpers happily with dreams of incoming mallards, the deer on my game pole shine a little more and my incredible American dream of rock ‘n’ roll and hunting builds yet more spirit and attitude.

I do it, for warriors make it so.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

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