As most of you know my brother is serving this great nation in Afghanistan. Of course I am very proud of him and proud of the entire armed services of men and women who are serving. Especially this time of year as we get set to give thanks. Keep a special thanks for our servicemen and servicewomen this holiday season. Remember that while you are with their families, they are not. They are however with their other family and yes that can be comforting but it will never be the same.
Communication with my brother is sporadic at best. He uses his time wisely to talk with his wife and son here in the states. Yet every now and then my email comes alive with a new message from him and it makes me smile. This week I was fortunate to have two such emails from him. One contained the image in this article and the other a note to tell me how he spent this past Sunday watching the Miami Dolphins lose to the Carolina Panthers.
On Sunday I was concerned with what I was going to make to eat while I watched the game. Worried about getting the Live Chat up and running and worried about getting my son everything he would need for the next three hours. I forgot that he was over there worrying about other things. It’s easy to forget how we take for granted something as simple as a football game and how in reality our passion for the sport can make losing almost as gratifying as winning. O.k. so here in the comfort of our own homes and couches and loungers losing sucks. O.k it freaking sucks a bunch of expletives that I can’t use here.
While I’m pissing an moaning about a loss with 42 seconds left in a game, my brother and other Miami Dolphins fans deployed got to experience something outside of patrols and missions.
I can’t really go into a whole lot of detail about what was in that email to me but I will share a few nuggets that I found very funny. Those that put the game in more perspective for me and maybe for you as well.
As the game approached my brother and another flight chief were prepping for their shift when they found a way to rig up a television. I wish I could tell you how they got the signal but I’m not privy to that knowledge. What I do know is they found an old sheet, strung it up and “borrowed” a projector from another sector. Sneaking in and commandeering the projector for the game. Just the two of them.
As odd and unbelievable as it may seem, the other flight chief was a Panther fan and he and my brother had been exchanging barbs all week in lead up to the game. So there they sat in a former Russian control tower that was left over from the 60′s watching home on a makeshift TV screen. We all know how the game ended and needless to say my brothers three quarters of chiding ended with someone’s last laugh. They had fun and despite the loss it was a piece of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal world.
My brothers bunk area is adorned with Miami Dolphins stuff including the flag that is seen in the picture. My brother even took along his authentic Dan Marino jersey to hang up as well. This year I received two bags full of old style Miami Dolphins socks and those are now somewhere in Afghanistan as well as I shipped them to my brothers former unit. So needless to say the Miami Dolphins presence is alive and well overseas.
This isn’t one of those stories to get you all emotional just a simple update before we hit Thanksgiving, but when you sit down to watch the game this weekend against the NY Jets, think about the fact that somewhere over there in a vast desert of people who really don’t want us there, a bunch of Miami Dolphins fans are finding ways to watch the game just like you. On a final note I will add this. My brother is pretty forthcoming with other’s attitudes toward the team and he informed that the Dolphins have been the talk of their base since week 4. Most of the talk has been very positive given the surrounding circumstances and most believe that aside from some bad breaks (they must see those bad calls too) this is a team heading in the right direction.
Let’s hope they are right.