Today we received news that Chip Gerdes, one of the patriots we don’t all know by name, but who works day in and day out to help our country, passed away. Legal Insurrection writers add their thoughts below.

WAJ adds:

I only spoke to him a handful of times when Legal Insurrection needed advice. His advice, to paraphrase roughly, was “F*** them.” It was the best advice I ever got.

Anne Sorock adds:

There are many characters fighting this war to restore freedom and an appreciation for American exceptionalism to our country; but there is no one like Chip.

Chip, who was one of the behind-the-scenes guys who do so much heavy lifting in politics, running campaigns, connecting media with stories, generally getting things done, was, like Andrew, larger than life. In fact it was through Chip that I first met Andrew.

Every time I saw him he would regale me with another inconceivable story from his work. It’s better to skim the surface of these stories — they were often successful and always mischievous.

It was Chip’s downtown apartment that many of us fighting the fight in Chicago would gather to be entertained by Chip, planning a “flotilla” up to Madison to catch up with the protesters, or arguing over where to go to dinner. We nearly always decided on the Chicago standby Greek Islands, Chip picking up the check no matter how big or small the group.

And it was through his magnetic personality that many of us who can sometimes lean overly ideological (myself foremost) were brought together, scolded for our zealousness, and generally reminded that sometimes you have to laugh through this war we’re in. Chip, charming and amiable where some of us are sharp-elbowed, was a warrior. And his role was vital to bringing cohesiveness to the grassroots army.

He leaves behind a wife and young daughter whom I had the pleasure of getting to know. I hope you will keep them in your thoughts and prayers as you reflect on the many types of warriors who are fighting today.

In honor of his alma mater that he loved so much, Roll Tide Roll.

Mandy Nagy adds:

There are so many great stories I could tell about Chip Gerdes, but not many I could tell publicly.  It’s true that he was a behind-the-scenes guy.  He was always getting his fingers into something, but always doing so with humor and a light-hearted spirit.

I first met Chip several years ago, when he decided to come out to the East Coast for one of the big labor union marches in NYC.  I’d already been planning on attending to cover it as a blogger.  But as Chip was wont to do, he preferred to make covering the event a little more fun.  I won’t go into all the details (there were no dirty tricks, though) – I’ll only say that it involved waving a Gadsen flag as parade marchers passed by.

The ensuing discussions from the crowd were remarkably civil and equally fascinating and enlightening.  I joined Chip in a discussion with a real-life communist academic who tried in earnest to convince us that the world be a much better place – if only the US would just submit to communism, it would work.  Really, it would.

Last year when our dear friend Andrew Breitbart passed away, I was in Chicago at the time.  I’ll never forget the early morning phone call I received from Chip.  “I don’t want to be alone today,” he said.  “Please come be with me.  Let’s get the gang together.”  And that we did.

I recall spending that entire day and evening with Chip and several of our other friends, sharing stories about Andrew and trying to keep ourselves distracted.  It was one of the most painful days of my life, yet oddly, also one of the most enjoyable.  We were surrounded by friends and love, and I often reflect on that day and wonder how I would have gotten through it without Chip and our friends there.

But that was Chip.  On the one hand, he was a jokester and a loud, boisterous personality – to the point that you sometimes wanted to shake him.  Yet at the same time, he was a big teddy bear that would engulf you in a hug when you needed it most.  He was a friend that I am thankful to have had in my life, albeit for far too short a time.

Chip’s passing has reminded me of one very important thing:  keep the ones you love in life close to you and remember to tell them how important they are to you.  You never know if you’ll have that chance to do so tomorrow.

Rest in peace, happy warrior.