'A giving heart,' from Baghdad to Chester

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Fred Johnson (left), speaks with a Vietnam vet. After returning from Iraq, Johnson became an addict. (David Maialetti / Staff)

We sometimes get accused here of focusing too much on the negative. No argument there. This blog isn't about blowing sunshine where you don't need it to be blown.

But I want to direct you to Daily News reporter Natalie Pompilio's excellent profile of Fred Johnson, a 41-year-old Iraq war veteran and former crack addict who is helping Chester veterans. From Natalie's story:

In the VA hospital outside Baltimore, Johnson remembers watching fellow patients line up for the daily drug dispensings and feeling their stress choking him.

Wali Mutazammil, Johnson's roommate in Baltimore and a Heroes Today board member, discussed the concept of the nonprofit with Johnson.

"It's very personal," said Mutazammil, a Vietnam veteran. "We're here to embrace you and be with you for as long as it takes, even the rest of your life."

Read the whole thing, then check out Johnson's group Heroes Today.

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