I met one of my heroes today.

I met David Drake, at this weekend’s ConDFW.

One heckuva nice guy, at least to his fans (he may treat editors slightly differently; no offense Mr. Zotti).

I call him one of my heroes because he’s a veteran of the Vietnam War; and like many veterans of all wars (but perhaps that one more so), he saw, and perhaps did, things no human should ever have to see and do; because he came home to an ungrateful nation, which told him that his time, and his pain, were for nothing; because he overcame the anger, depression and horror in a constructive way; because he communicates, in a way few veterans might be able to understand, exactly why war is so bad, and why the people who fight them are sometimes so necessary, even if they are people you would never care to personally know; because he tells the uninformed but thoughtful reader why, after such wars, these broken people deserve our gratitude and support in finding their way “home again,” emotionally, socially and maybe even spiritually.

And finally, even though he was trained by the military to be an interpreter/interrogator, he also rode the beasts of the Dark Horse, one of the more distinguished Cavalry units in the U.S. Army.

Being a (ahem former) Black Knight myself, that’s no small compliment.

I’m also a huge David Drake fan.

You’re a lucky guy, ExTank.