I received this email from a Marine Corporal (promoted yesterday!) in Iraq in reference to my short appearance on MSNBC:
...happened to catch you on one of the news channels that AFN shows. Just wanted to say you did a great job for never being on TV and helped rep the military right by spreading the word about these blogs. It should open up some new sets of eyes to show what really goes on here.
While I'm glad that our military in Iraq is beginning to know that some of us have their six, that's probably overly optimistic. I'll believe it when MilBlogs are quoted during the nightly news (ABC, NBC, CBS) - they've got more viewers combined than anybody. Here's another one via Soldiers' Angels.
I just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks for the work you and your volunteers are doing for all of the men and women in uniform. In the past two weeks, I have been inundated with letters and packages from all over the country, sent by "your" volunteers. I have tried to respond either by a handwritten note or an e-mail to every one. It is the least I can do. You probably do not need me to tell you how important it is to get mail from the States when you are lonely and halfway around the world. Having been in the Army for many years this was a lesson I learned when I first joined. Strangely enough, its even more important here.
We only hear what is broadcast on the media about what is going on back home, and how support for our efforts here have waned. It is easy to forget that these stories represent a minority opinion when they are the only thing you hear. The letters from the volunteers put everything back in proper perspective. The writer is one voice, but they describe how their whole community is involved in supporting our efforts. Maybe its only a small town, but when those towns are connected like a game of dots on paper, you realize that they make up the better part of America, and you are reminded why we came here in the first place.
Thank you for making my days a little brighter and for introducing me to some many friends across our great land. You are truly a saint for your efforts. May God bless you and your whole family and may God Bless America.
So consider helping out at Soldiers' Angels and let our troops know the truth - that we support them and their mission - that they will come home to a grateful nation.
And now, Red2Alpha's This is Your War is ending the day after I discussed his blog on MSNBC. Damn.
...I am nothing special, I'm not unique. You pass people like me everyday on the streets of your cities and towns, sometimes they are so close you can't even see them - and sadly enough normally you wouldn't even speak to them. But we are all around you, we always will be too. Past, present, and future. Some of them are reading these words right now. We protect you while you sleep.
Don't ever forget that....
REd2Alpha - Ah, I do know how you feel, but you ARE special, Sergeant. I pass by people everyday who don't serve and who don't know what you do and who haven't done what you have done. Those people talk about Lindsey Lohan's weight (who?) and the latest restaurants while you are doing the heavy lifting in the War on Terror. They bitch about their weak Latte's and wonder when the next Batchelor will air. They have no idea what it's like to be tired, cold, wet, and hungry (hey, don't forget about the awesome pay, too!) while evil men try to kill you.
They also don't know what it's like to have men and women of amazing quality and dedication serve by your side. People that will do anything for you, just because you are a Soldier.
We, however, won't forget about you...
The rest of you - be sure to read the comments (and leave a comment) at his final post where you'll find ones like this from a High School Junior:
Though I've never posted before, I've been reading your posts for close to half a year now, checking every day for an update and I'm sorry to see you go. Reading your blog and other military blogs has really helped me get a better picture of whats going on in Iraq and just how I view life and consider what is important. Thank you for the posts, and I hope things improve for you.
Thank you, Sergeant Mike. We'll still be here in November waiting for you to post again. Keep up the fight and know we've got your six...