Feb 1, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT
By Bill Miller
As big an honor as it is to be making the PVA/AFE Outdoor Legends Tour to meet and greet US troops in Southwest Asia this spring, it’s also a very big responsibility. Our role is to bring smiles to the faces of folks who have been away from home for a long time and may well be away for a good while longer. We want them to know that we back home are thinking of them and will welcome them back not only to daily life, but to the woods and waters when they are ready. We’re there to rekindle fond memories of hunting and fishing with family and friends.
The last thing I want to do is be a “downer” for these people who are sacrificing so much. So I’m worried about two things. The first is that I’ll break up every time I talk to some one. Just writing this puts a little catch at the back of my throat and a slight burn in the corner of my eyes. The second is that I won’t have anything to say. “Thank you” just sounds so feeble in appreciation for effort and sacrifice of the magnitude that these men and women make every day.
Remembering a former pastor at the church my wife and I attend is also an Army Chaplain who spent a good bit of time deployed in the Middle East, I contacted him for advice. He graciously responded with wonderful counsel on preparing physically, mentally, and spiritually for the Tour. His advice will help a great deal. Thank you Pastor Chris.
Then I got to thinking again about what to say to the troops, and I had this brainstorm. Why not ask you the readers of “Around the Campfire with Bill” at NBCSports.com what messages you want me to take to the troops? Seeing as we’ll be there representing America’s hunters and fisherman as well as the outdoor industry, it makes perfect sense that the message come from you!
So, if you would, please leave comments below this post. I will print them out and put them in my day pack to distribute as we make the tour. I’ll be proud to share your well-wishes with the servicemen and women I meet.
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