It was good luck and unprecedented courage that helped two ordinary villagers overpower a heavily armed and highly motivated terrorist in Udhampur, J&K. The foot soldiers rarely get acknowledged leave alone being appreciated. Happily today is their day! But it isn’t the first time they have done their job well. The terrorist capture has put focus back on the strategic role the Village Defence Committee (VDC) – set up as first level of protection in strife torn state of J&K – have in troubled J&K. Set up early nineties in J&K, VDCs’ have suffered official apathy resulting in loss of confidence and increased vulnerability. An empowered village defence mechanism is of critical importance: govt must make the screening process robust, provide latest training, and ensure adequate monetary support for all these men in service of nation.