stunning voiceover recognition

AFN Medaillon

I received a completely unexpected and stunning honor/thank you gift in Tuesday’s mail. With no disrespect intended to those who’ve been so kind throughout my career to bestow honors on me (deserving of none and grateful for all), Tuesday’s recognition may have topped them all.

From the Armed Forces Network, based in Baghdad, Iraq (you may have read about some of the goings on there in your local paper) TSgt. Chris Eder (Kasbah to his listeners on Freedom Radio) sent a thank you note, a certificate of appreciation signed by all the Freedom Radio personalities and an AFN medallion (pictured above) for my efforts to support their station with voice imaging and production.

To me, I was so stunned (not nearly a powerful enough description) because these folks are in the middle of fighting a war (the radio station’s base incurred a direct hit not so long ago). They are living under very difficult conditions yet in the midst of all that crap (much of which most of us cannot fathom I am sure) they took time to say thank you to ME!

My initial thought was: are you kidding?!

Regardless of your position on the war and its consequences, the men and women in America’s Armed Forces all answered the call of their country and are executing the orders they are given on a daily basis. They sacrifice their families, their futures and yes their lives. So if they call me and say hey, could you help out our stations so that the troops can listen to more professional sounding radio…not yes but HELL YES I’m going to gladly help out (as did the score of professional voice talent who joined me in these voice imaging productions free of charge). I do not have their courage; I am not as selfless as they are. But I have a voice.

Darkness has come to my neighborhood as I write this blog during the 2007 edition of July 4th and with that darkness has come the familiar popping and cracking of fireworks from citizens celebrating the independence of the United States of America 231 years ago. Not only in Iraq tonight (or tomorrow) but in locales around the world, United States military personnel may hear those same popping and cracking sounds…but it is live ammunition, not a Roman candle firework. I’ve not the talent of Francis Scott Key but he is on my mind this evening:

“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

No branch of the United States Armed Forces anywhere in the world needs to thank me for my meager efforts…but we all need to thank them for defending us everyday, everywhere. Thank you!

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