Amick member of National Guard unit to be deployed in Kabul
By Rick Houston, Special to NASCAR.COM
December 7, 2006
The house where Lyndon and Melanie Amick live with their three young sons sits well back in the woods, just outside of Saluda, S.C.
It is a large and beautiful structure, not a mansion, really, but a building that's obviously been put together with an eye toward warmth and comfort. There are toys here and there outside, as well as golf clubs, adult-sized and for kids. The porches are long and wide. They're perfect for watching the deer that often wander through the forest.
Inside, the rooms are spacious. The high-ceilinged and sunlit main living area features a couch that would sit -- and sleep -- an entire family. There's a hot tub here, a playroom for sons Billy, 4, Drake, 1, and 4-month-old Jonas. Really, this is 5,000 square feet of contented Southern living.
In ways that defy both explanation and imagination, it is a very, very long way from Saluda, S.C. to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Within just a few months, Spc. Lyndon Amick will be in the heart of Afghanistan, deployed there with his South Carolina National Guard unit, Bravo Company of the 1st Battalion -- 118th Infantry Regiment based out of Fountain Inn. A former Busch and Craftsman Truck Series driver, Amick once lived the life of a young up-and-coming racer. He gave up his NASCAR career to join the Guard, and by May, Amick will be on the ground in a country that has been ravaged by war for centuries.
Amick says that he's "very familiar" with the story of Pat Tillman, another professional athlete who gave up his sport -- in Tillman's case, as a safety with the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL -- to defend his country. A member of the elite U.S. Army Rangers, Tillman was killed in action April 22, 2004.
Amick is trained as an airborne infantryman, and in Afghanistan, will serve in security details that may range from patrols in and around the Kabul area to protecting various VIPs. The life he will lead will be light years removed from the one he is leaving behind at home. A member of what's surely one of South Carolina's wealthiest families and a successful real estate developer in his own right, Amick was most definitely not forced into joining the military in order to make ends meet. Rest of story