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Posted by plentycoupe on May 06 2006
Itís my turn to say THANK YOU!!
First a little about myself and where I am coming from. I joined the Army 14 years ago while I was living in Thornton, Colorado. Trying to get away and see what was in this big world of ours. Ironically my first duty station was Fort Carson, Colorado. About 90 miles south of where I started!!
I spent a few years there before deciding to go be a wind dumby. After airborne school I spent a few years at Fort Bragg, NC. Then back to Carson, year in Korea, few years at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, then finally my dream station in Alaska. After a year in there I am now in Iraq, patiently waiting my return to AK.
I call the Army home and I love the job that I have.
On to the point of this note. Shortly after I first arrived in Fairbanks, AK I was shopping in Sears while wearing my uniform. A gentleman walked up to me, extended his hand to shake mine, looked me in the eye and said thank you for your service. This thank you caught me off guard, leaving me searching for the rights words to respond with. I think I said your welcome and the man was on his way.
On my way home I thought hard about what had took place. It made me feel proud to wear my uniform, as soon as I got home I told me wife about it. I had been in for 13 years and that was the first time it happened.
Since living in Alaska there have been a few more times of strangers showing gratitude. I took my wife to eat some Chinese food one afternoon. When I asked for the check I was informed that the bill was already paid. Someone picked up the tab and quietly left. When I can home for R&R and arrived at the Dallas airport the reception was awesome. So many people there to greet us!! Made me feel like I was a king, Then there was the guys in the Denver airport, thanks for the beers.
There were many people that told me thanks and each time I was caught off guard. Like I never could quite say youíre welcome without feeling strange, or maybe I just couldnít figure out what the right thing to say was. Maybe the best response for me is My Pleasure, or No Thanks is Necessary. You see for the most part I keep to myself, am stubborn when it comes time to ask for help. Donít like to grip about to much, and am not what my Platoon Leaders likes to call a social butterfly. Maybe this is what leads to me having such a hard time with a response.
I really enjoy the job that I do. Like any other occupation it has its ups and downs. Pros and cons. But it is a work that my comrades and I do together because we believe it is important. There is a song that says it perfect. I donít do it for the money, I donít do it for the glory, I do it because I feel it is my duty, my calling.
Maybe the reason I am not sure how to respond to a stranger telling me thanks or showing gratitude is because I see this as a way of life for me. No different than those pilots that flew me home for R&R or every other person that makes a living doing whatever it is they enjoy.
I started this long drawn out letter to say that I would never expect anyone to thank me or my Soldiers for what we do. We believe in it and that is enough. BUT SOME OF YOU DO SAY THANK YOU!!!!! And that makes a Soldier remember that his country is behind him!!!!! Just understand that if our reply is quiet, or we look as if we are searching for the right words but can not find them, we are, but we appreciate in non the less!!
I want to personally thank those of you that have reached out to me or other Soldiers: Heather Christianson, you have told me more than once that you are proud of me and what I do, I may not respond eloquently or with a poets flare but I appreciate it every time you say it and I love you(canít wait for our sheep hunt either!!), My mother for her great support and wisdom, Dad, even though your pretty quiet about it you let the words proud and honor slip out every now and then, John Vasos with MLA you have been a great help with the archery equipment that you donated and to make me and the wife members of the Michigan Longbow Association was awesome, Chip Green with Trad America, your archery gear has been put to great use, Cracker Jack Charters for what you did for my wife and I last year, Michael Strahan, Larry Bartlett, Murphy and many others on the forum for the kind words and tons of info, Tony Russ for the info and kind words, All of you that have responded to my questions of sheep hunting and helped me with info, Dave Armstrong for all that you have done for the Veterans and all that you are still doing, Matt for the maps of the good bear country and the hunting magazines that you send( hope you get a big black bear this month!!!), Ed from Alaska Bowhunting Supply in Anchorage thanks again for donating the equipment for my platoon and I, Lost Nation Archery the arrows that you sent were awesome and put to good use, Rick for the offer that you have given me in reference to deer hunting, Thomas Kennedy, Rich Abercrombie you have been such a great help!!, Taylor from Wiggyís for the guidance and info, Walt Barton, we meet at the Outdoors Show while I was on R&R in Fairbanks: you made me a great offer and made my day, thanks , Don for helping me an Ty in Anchorage be able to swap rifles, The female pilot that treated me to a Ben and Jerryís in the Dallas airport, the couple that my wife was going to buy the 2 bows from, you sent me a package and have never even met me, thank you and Iím sorry but I lost your address, Christopher Cox of Habu bows for your support and the upgrade( Canít wait to finally see that bow!!), Tony Granillo( I can say that now canít I) thanks for the outstanding leadership, Dave McGowan, thanks for the magazines and the friendship while we worked together (hope the civilian world is treating you great!!), HogTamer for the arrows and other archery gear!!,
I would like to send out a special thank you to Alaskanís in general. I have never lived in a community that has more support for the military.!!
Also a great thank you to the traditional bowhunters out there. You have sent me and others such kind words and support!! I truly appreciate it and am glad to be one of you.
There are many others that have extended the hand of gratitude and if I missed your name this letter is to you all the same. America IS the reason we do our job so well. So thank you all!!
BIG 27 on May 06 2006
First off would like to tell you that was well wriitten and a good
message.Thanks for the friendship you have provided the last few years and
the support of the hard times I am going through now.I hope you and heather
have a great hunt and you harvest a spectacular ram on the hunt you have put
so much time researching for during this deployment.I think it would be
appropiate to drink a cold one after we return from the desert.Take Care!
abnAK on May 06 2006
Very well written letter!! I have been keeping up with you guys the best
that I can, It's alittle harder now that I'm out I don't have the same
sources! I'm proud of all of you, especially You and the other leaders in
the Battery you guys have kept the boys alive in a very dangerous
environment. You are almost there, don't get complacent!!! I need you to
help me reel some Halibut up this summer. Take care and tell the Bandits
hello for me and I will see you all SOON!!
Michael Strahan on May 06 2006
one of us really understands everything that's going on over there, but I
appreciate the opportunity to have direct contact like this, rather than
having to hear only the rhetoric spouted by our media. When it all comes
down to the bottom line, it ends up being about people; "Our" people, the
Iraqi people, the Afghani people... it's about people. In a thing like
this, you have at least two choices. You can analyze it and do nothing, or
you can participate on some level and take the risk of making a
less-than-best decision. Life is like that.
I appreciate your willingness to serve, and the risks you are willing to
take. You signed on before this war started, not knowing that you'd end up
in a place like that, but knowing that there was a possibility. You joined
Now, I'm going back over to the new hunting forum! Let's move this thing
out! David and the crew put a lot of work into it, and it's great. We can
now post pictures! Here's the link:
tjkiller on May 06 2006
15 years in the Corps and this place (ALASKA) is by for the most patriotic
place Ive ever seen. Good people. Even though Anchorage has like 270,000 the
state as a whole has a small town mantality. Those things you mention happen
so often up here its hunbling. It doesnt happen anywhere else to my
knowledge. Thx AK its been an experience.
GREAT BIG THANKYOU...
Jeff L on May 06 2006
is not enough for you and all the men and women of the service. No matter
what you may hear from the media it is important for you to know that the
vast majority of America supports you. My son is in the U.S.Coast Guard and
I will say the same thing to you that I told him. It takes some kind of a
special person that would knowingly put themselves in harms way to defend or
save the life of those he may never know. You have my utmost respect and
gratitude. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Jeff L