Every Friday, I write a column for a radio station in Milwaukee. Much like this site, I try to share positive news and my feelings. It’s read on the air by a very supportive news reporter. Unlike this blog, where I conceal my identity, they use my name and occasionally give out my email address. I had no idea how many people listened to my letters until Tuesday when the explosion occurred and citizens confirmed my safety. A Milwaukee t.v. station interviewed a friend of mine and her family. Her brother has an Afro, which I’ve encouraged him to grow and grow and grow. She said the television screen barely fit his whole head. That’s my boy, I thought, when I heard of the news of his Afro making the big time. She claims nothing but good things were said about me, but I hope she didn’t share the time I farted on her. That definitely wouldn’t be good PR.
Then, there were the readers of this blog, who emailed me and posted very kind comments. My mom and dad’s co-workers. The “pool” from Texas. My fraternity brothers. My fellow Okie State alums. And my co-workers in the states. People have been so supportive of my writing and my mission as an Army journalist that it truly is touching.
Soon, I will be packing my bags and heading home. Of course, I look forward to this moment, but I will miss sharing my views of the “Iraq happenings.” In a previous comment from a reader, they said I was a gifted writer. Like Steinbeck and Hemingway, I really don’t feel that way. I feel like it’s my duty to just say how I feel. I guess, my dad taught me this long ago: that sometimes you just have to express your feelings. Of course, he was talking about girls, but I think it’s applicable to all walks of like.
I would like to thank everybody who’s read this blog and or has sent me kind words. Those who post comments every day – kim, justamom, Kayla, ac – your words of encouragement go a long way. A couple days ago, I felt more anguish than I ever have. But as I’ve said before, we are here because of Americans. And it is the Americans who keep us motivated and on track. We keep photos of our loved ones on us at all times.
People think that you have to join the military to serve your country. I disagree. In my opinion, anybody who raises a family, holds a steady job or just opens the door for a stranger is serving America. Sure, servicemen are the ones who fight for freedom, but normal everyday Americans sustain our liberties by just living a good life.
To the janitor who wakes up every morning at 0300 and jumps in his car to travel to his not-so glamorous job, thank you. To the single mom who chose the road less traveled despite her friend’s recommendations of giving berth to a child while she was still a child, thank you. To the dad who worked three jobs just to raise his family, thank you. To the farmer who tilled the soil just as his father did, thank you. To you, the normal everyday American, I want to say thanks for everything. You have served America more than you will know.