Would you risk your life to get out of debt?

“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Sometimes a year makes all the difference in someone’s life. Remember Nick Sloan? I posted about him last year on July 4th. He was writing a blog as a soldier in Iraq… except his theme was different from most military journals penned from the Green Zone: Nick wrote a personal finance blog called Journey to Financial Freedom.

You see, money was the reason he was serving in Iraq. Nick, a captain in the Air Force, signed up for this tour as a way to earn extra money and minimize his living expenses. Why? He had over $70,000 in debt and this was a major part of his plan to pay it off and get his finances back on track.

Eventually, Nick’s story got around the blogosphere and The New York Times even ran a lengthy profile about his money story. Soon after, he retreated from the public forum of blogging. I suspect the publicity brought quite a bit of traffic to his site and image a lot of those readers weren’t the supportive types you find in the personal finance blogging community. Most people have an opinion about the war and I suspect it made Nick an easy target for the crazies trolling the net.

Regardless of why, Nick took his site down and stopped blogging, but I saved his email address and was able to get in touch with him for this anniversary post. He replied and it sounds like he’s a happy man:

I am safely back from Iraq now, and I am slowly adjusting back to normal life. I did succeed in my financial goals, for the most part. I am completely debt free, other than my mortgage, and I am in the process of paying cash for a late model used car. I am definitely following the personal finance rules that you advocate on your site.
Debt free was the destination. The journey is what will keep him there. Nick, we wish you and your family a very happy Fourth of July. Live long and prosper!

Photo credit: The New York Times