Author Stories Podcast Episode 968 | Renee Nickell Interview

Today’s author interview guest is Renee Nickell, author of the powerful memoir Always My Hero: The Road to Hope & Healing Following My Brother’s Death in Afghanistan.

A compelling memoir about a sister who embarks on a journey to seek purpose when her world crashes down after her Marine aviator brother is tragically killed on a ground mission in Afghanistan.

When Renee’s brother, a Marine Corps aviator, is tragically killed in action, she quickly realizes that siblings are often the “forgotten mourners,” fighting through PTSD with virtually no support or community. As a result, Renee shares her honest, raw, and at times, gut-wrenching account of what it is like losing a brother to war, while giving others an inside glimpse into the devastation a military family endures for the cost of freedom.

Always My Hero takes you on a nostalgic journey through their childhood and Sam’s sacrifice. This extraordinary memoir will have you laughing one moment and moved to tears the next. Get to know Sam and the amazing Marine he was through the eyes of his sister and fellow servicemen. Discover how to exchange sorrow for strength, to crawl out of the trenches of despair and finally find…hope.

Author Renee Nickell loves all things patriotic, military, and supports military families. She has been featured on The 700 Club, The Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, FOX&Friends, FOX Radio, Military Connection, SOFREP Radio, and many other podcasts, radio, and editorials. As a Gold Star sister and military spouse to her husband Gentry, she is very familiar with the pride and pain that flows along with service. Renee penned her first non-fiction memoir, Always My Hero, based on the life and tragic death of her beloved, slightly older and wiser brother, United States Marine, Major Samuel M. Griffith. In 2011, Sam was killed in action in Afghanistan

Renee’s passion is to increase awareness of what the whole family left behind goes through so that we can better help them endure and recover. She also works alongside her parents who hold an annual golf tournament in Sam’s memory to raise support for the non-profit charity, Renewal Coalition and service members wounded in combat. Seeing a lack of opportunity and connection for military loss siblings, Renee’s future plans include starting a foundation in her brother’s name to help support veteran’s and provide opportunities for siblings that have not yet been afforded them. A portion of each book sale will go towards this foundation. She has learned to appreciate those things that help the heart heal and stories that inspire.

Renee has served in several ministries, to include an international ministry, worship and youth ministry, and small group studies in her home. Renee and her husband have four children whom they homeschool, travel, and teach extensively about our nation’s history. You can learn more about Renee at or follow on Facebook @RMNickell and Instagram @Renee_Nickell.

Leave a Reply