Somebody off-the-radar that I wanted to write about today ....
I've been thinking for a time about better ways to expand this forum. These pages can do more than just discuss a football team. They can, and should, connect a very large group of like-minded individuals.
When I see a few topics that stray from UGA football of late, it convinces me there are a few here who are simply idling their time until spring practice gears up. When I do, I think about a sense of community and being a part of something greater than any one individual. Or any single athletics department.
There's a young person I want all of you to know about. He's a 20-year old "recruit" and his older brother went to UGA. His name is Jack Heustess. He's a soldier in the U.S. Army Infantry off on his first nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.
He represents 50 stars. Not just the five I'm often tasked to write about.
His family is an equal mix of proud and terrified. They know he will be in harm's way in what is still often known as one of the most dangerous places Americans serve. He's been described to me as having more common sense than most. Rational. Thoughtful.
His family considers itself true members of DawgNation. But more importantly, they serve our nation in more ways than most of us will know. Monroe Heustess, Jack's older brother, is also a 2nd LT in the Air Force. He's stationed out in Texas.
His mother was at UGA during the Herschel years. She saw the Glory Days. This family sounds every bit like the real "DGDs" everyone always speaks of.
If you believe in the power of prayer or just sending up a kind thought about Jack, I'm sure this family would greatly appreciate it. I realize there are many other soldiers out there than just this young man. They all passionately follow UGA football and serve our country. I hope that these words can in some small way reflect the commitment of many. Not just a single 20-year old who seems blessed with a superpower to sleep soundly in frigid temperatures.
I spend a lot of my work life writing about "dudes" that can clock low times in the 40. I wanted to share these lines about a 50-star soldier who can carry a 100-pound rucksack 14 miles in the same amount of time it takes to watch a replay of The Rose Bowl.
If you feel so inclined, I'm sure he could use a note showing how much you appreciate those nights he has to sleep in a poncho in the snow.
I'm going to write him. I will ask my kids to do so, too. Because I want to make sure he knows he is appreciated. I hope to bring him a little warmth in a dangerous faraway land. He might not need it, but my family will do so anyway.
I wish we could do more, but this is the real "DawgNation Appreciation" that is on my mind today.
His mailing address is:
1-12 IN-TF Red Warrior
A Co, TF Red Warrior
APO AE 09355