Don’t Worry,
America Is Still Awesome


This is Mack — a truly great American.

I have a friend named Mack. Mack is the salt of the earth. He and his kind are what made America what it is. In addition to a lot of other positive attributes, Mack also has a superhuman work ethic.

Mack has a crew. They can do literally anything. They spend their weeks replacing roofs, building sheds and resurrecting derelict kitchens. They built me a new bathroom. Mack’s crew includes his son Corey and his friends Justin and Dave. They are all comparably awesome. Within the first half hour of their working on my bathroom, one of them had asked where I stood with Jesus. They’re the kind of guys who would gladly give you their shoes or shirt if they felt you needed them.

Justin is covered in tattoos and talks like a drill sergeant. That’s because he spent a career in the Army as a grunt and a drill sergeant before he settled down with Mack to build stuff. Justin did five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On the weekends, when most normal people are kicking back and relaxing, Mack runs his own restaurant called Harmon’s in Paris, Mississippi. Harmon’s offers superlative Southern home cooking. I can tell you from personal experience that their fried shrimp and catfish are to die for.

Here we see Mack and Justin preparing breakfast
for 40 or so hungry veterans in rural Mississippi.

Harmon’s Restaurant dishes up great Southern food served with love.

If You Serve It, They Will Come…

The first Saturday of every month, Mack opens his restaurant up for a free breakfast for military veterans. Justin helps with the cooking. Donations are accepted but are neither sought nor expected. The food is basic Southern fare — scrambled eggs, grits, biscuits, hash browns, bacon, and the fixings. Anyone who has ever eaten in a military mess hall will recognize it. None of it is terribly good for you, but it is both delicious and filling. Mack feeds 40 or so grizzled old vets on Saturday morning out of his own pocket just because he is a great American.

Once word got out, the place filled up. It is amazing the extraordinary guys who just came out of the woodwork in small town Mississippi. One guy flew F-111 Aardvarks in the Air Force. Another spent a career underwater in submarines. A smattering served time in the Mississippi National Guard. All of the old WWII guys have passed, but Vietnam is ably represented. One gentleman was a Green Beret officer who did three combat tours in Vietnam. Another was a Special Forces doctor who treated both friend and foe alike during his time in Southeast Asia.

As you might imagine, there is no shortage of entertaining stories to be found in that place. I bring along a handful of machine guns each month for everybody to paw over, and we kill an hour swapping lies. Many of the guys in attendance used those weapons for real. Each meal starts with prayer, and wives get dragged along every few months just to keep the place civilized.

I typically toss a few machineguns in the truck
to give the guys something to paw over while we talk.

Packaging is Everything

If you partake in the mainstream media, all you are fed is doom and gloom. Americans hate Americans. The economy is in a freefall. Neighborhoods burn, and we rob each other blind. It’s all we ever see. One might be forgiven for believing that our Great Republic is on its last legs. Should you feel that way, I would assert that perhaps you’re getting your news from the wrong sources.

Down here in rural Mississippi, we’re doing just fine, thank you very much. In my neck of the woods, everybody is armed, yet nobody seems to get shot. Folks really don’t care what color you are anymore. We still go to church, and we raise our kids to respect authority and love their country.

Far be it from me to seem all judgey, but the folks running California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois are all idiots. Urban spaces have become a hell of their own making. Tolerating lawlessness, disrespecting law enforcement, and paying people for bad behavior is a great way to let the inmates run the asylum. How is that working out these days?

By contrast, our streets are clean, our cost of living is low, and our people are friendly. The biggest problem we have in my little Southern town is that a lot of folks are moving here. But that’s okay. We’ll keep building houses and restaurants. We may even eventually land a Target to go along with Kroger and Wal-Mart. Down here where I live, America is still quite awesome.

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