Nicholas A. “Andy” Andreacchio

Nicholas A. Andreacchio

Son of a career NCO, Nicholas was born and spent his first eight years of his life on a horse Cavalry post. He moved around with his family as normal in the Army. Nicholas enlisted as a private two days out of high school and spent four years in the ranks, reaching sergeant before he went to Infantry OCS, commissioned Armor. He commanded Battalion, Brigade and US Army School of Americas before retiring after 32 years active service. He has been married for 46 years to a woman from El Salvador and has three grown children.

Nicholas served in Vietnam, 1966-1967 as Senior Advisor of the ARVN 7th Cav. Regt. stationed in the two Northern provinces. He states, “I am proud of my service with the 7th which was the first ARVN Cav. Regt. to receive the US Presidential Unit Citation.”


It would be o so easy to wonder about the “Christmases yet to come” but what a waste that would be because that would mean ignoring the most precious gift the Good Lord has given us.

We all share something that no one can create on their own: shared experiences: that gift from God we call… memories. Do you realize how very, very rich you are? With all the problems you have now, the Lord has allowed you to keep the most precious gift he can bestow. So very many to choose from, how rich we are. I have some photos of you both that would make a statue laugh… or at least giggle. Do you know what my favorite photo/memory is of you both? Bet you don’t… it is the both of you on the Cable Car in Rio. Silly to many but it sustains me; and I am sure you have many yourselves that only you appreciate.

Heaven knows your Mom and I have many treasured memories of you and we often “open them up” like a Christmas gift. All it takes is: “do you remember when Liz/Tony”, and voila, there you are… young, foolish [hung-over] and ever our darling child and child up will be for us both… forever. Like you we hear one word…. and like a magic carpet we are in Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Uruguay, Rio, the Costa del Sol or just old Ft. Knox.

Those memories may be all we have, but by God, you, we and your families have made some great ones: and so we all are truly wealthy. Yes wealthy, for it’s not the amount of money or ‘things’ you have, but the quality of the memories you have stored in your heart, that constitute real wealth.

And so, like us, you are rich beyond compare. Your Mom and I are old now, but we are rich for we have Oh so many wonderful memories, many of them created by you two, and in a heartbeat even thousands of miles away… you can still make us laugh and cry.

Now when it grows dark, those memories can light up the night for us all and for a moment… the shadows flee, and once again, we feel the heat of love and passion, the warmth of friendship and the glow of triumph and victory.

We love you… and your families.

Merry Christmas… and “thanks for the memories.”

Author’s Note: My two eldest “children”, Liz, and Tony, are dying of ALS [Lou Gehrig’s disease] so trying to find something “uplifting” under these circumstances is more than a little difficult. Then one afternoon Kitty and were watching a video Ltc. Anderson had made for us and I realized how rich I… and my kids really are and above is a modified version of what I sent them.

This narrative inspired the response, “Speaking Up For The Silent” – ©Copyright December 19, 2011 by Shelley Timberlake