Anyone else get fanmail from Michael Dudikoff during their deployment? I didn’t think so. Well, actually it wasn’t really him writing to me. It was a friend from the Air Force sending hilarious letters using the (dare I say it?) legendary actor’s name on the return address. Why? Because it made them funnier.
19 July 2003
I just got back from a month and a half in Europe, Israel, and various parts of the U.S. I was happy to come back home and see 2 letters… I thought about you every time I saw a flight going to Baghdad or Kuwait. I flew Space-A on military ‘hopovers’ to Europe and back. I hope this letter finds you in good spirits, and that you haven’t given up on me — ha! Well, graduation went well and I got commissioned and all that good stuff. I really enjoyed hanging out with you. I don’t know why, but I felt really comfortable talking to you. I only wish I could have met up with you before you left. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll meet again.
(I wonder if Michael Dudikoff is flirting a tiny bit?)
I went to islands in Greece (Crete and Ios), Israel, Cambridge in the UK, and Prague. I finally went home after three weeks, to Colorado Springs for a wedding. It was quite lavish…They do well enough to afford it, and my buddy getting married had a great time with his newly. After about 30 days had gone by (I had 60 days of leave!) a friend convinced me to spend the 4th of July in D.C. with him. We watched the fireworks between the Washington Monument and the Capital while lying out on the grass. After that we took off for Spain to run with the bulls. We landed at Rota, Spain…then a 14 hour ride to Pamplona where the Running of the Bulls was happening. But we were so tired by then…we decided to chalk it up and just hang out in the South of Spain. We went to Seville and [back to] Rota too. Since I was on the road for more than a month I decided to head back…you ever feel like just chilling? Yeah, I thought so.
Now I’m here in Santa Maria, California and by the time you get this I will be on my way to Osan Air Base, Repulic of Korea. Sad, eh? I don’t think I can get much sympathy from a girl in Baghdad…I really do worry about you being there. I heard morale is really low. Is it? Anyway, getting back to better things…How is your son doing? Who is he hanging out with while Mommy’s gone? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen? Do you have e-mail yet? I hope you are well and that you remember who I am. Listen, I will write you often and maybe when you’re having a bad day my letter will arrive and cheer you up…Be careful and Godspeed home. May the sun always shine on your back and the sand stay out of your underwear!
It’s great to hear from you! Well I can’t help but think about you and your health as the media provides daily news about the ongoing issues in Iraq. However, I’m also a strong believer that uncomfortable, challenging situations help us grow and develop as human beings. In that sense, I envy you. I’m proud to know someone like you, who is over there doing your thing, and always strapping on the U.S. flag every time you go outside.
(Kinda putting me on a pedestal there, Buddy. I may have to strap on a parachute to get back down.)
Korea is very interesting. Everyone here keeps telling me that by this time next year when I supposedly leave, I will have learned more than I could’ve in a 2 or 3 year tour in CONUS. I’ve been here for a month now and I don’t miss the States at all! However, I will be going back in October for Agent Training before I return to Osan…The weather here varies between hot and humid and rainy. Drivers are complete maniacs on the road. Seriously! I wonder if they realize that red means stop…Free time after work is an unusual feeling…I have more free time now to pursue my hobbies, goals, and education.
Where did you say you lived? I remember South Dakota, but is that where you grew up or where you live now? I hope your little boy is doing well. He’s probably quite the little handyman with your father showing him the ropes. How long do you have until you go home? You should move to Europe when you return. You know, live the Euro Trash lifestyle. That’s hopefully where I’ll go sooner than later. Germany or Italy or England (to study at Cambridge!). I’ll do my best to write frequently and stay in touch. After all, it’s the least I can do…Take care and say hi to your girlfriends for me!
P.S. I have handwriting like a 4th Grader, so sue me!
Wednesday, 3 September 2003 @ 1:00 P.M.
Everyday without your presence is like a day without the welcoming of the beautiful serene sunrise…I’ve always wanted to write that in a letter to someone deployed on the line! I don’t know what line you’re on but you get the drift. Did you like that opening sentence? I figured I’d mix it up a little with some romance. In all seriousness though, I really do wish that we’ll see each other someday. I felt you were genuine, and that’s a quality that is rare.
(Hmmm…if my husband reads this post he is going to kick Michael Dudikoff’s ass for putting the moves on me via air mail ten years ago! Well maybe not…)
I’m wrapping up a four day weekend (Labor Day)…I go back to the States in October. I really don’t miss [the U.S.] that much but I look forward to stepping on U.S. soil…I just got off the phone with my parents (that’s why the first line of this paragraph is darker; I was outlining the words while talking to them). Anyway, it’s their 28th anniversary and they were both on the phone. So Mom says “Yeah, it’s been 28 years and 3 days and it’s HELL!” I started laughing uncontrollably and they were laughing too. It’s the kind of humor that can only come from being married that long. I hope I can have a marriage that good, honest, and loving when I tie the knot. I think my first step should be to find a girl. What do you think?
(I think you are adorable.)
I’m looking at my letter thus far and realizing it looks like a freight train hit it. Scratches everywhere; I think your son can write better than me! Anyway, I know you’re probably very busy. Just try to take some deep breaths, look up at the sky or moon, and appreciate your family, friends, and good health (if you’re not catching a cold). It’s not everyday you’re in Iraq, right! Feel better? Be safe and take care.
P.S. Write down the date and time you send your letter so I know how long it takes from Baghdad to Osan AB, Korea.
P.P.S. I’m a geek.
Friday, 5 September 2003 @ 1200 hours
How’s Iraq nowadays? Is it cooling off? It [has been] raining off and on now for the last week of August and into September. I enjoy the sun if I’m wearing a shirt and shorts, but I prefer the cloudy skies otherwise. If I’m in a suit, I don’t like the sun beating down…guess I’m just more of a temperate climate type of guy…I’ll have to send you a picture sometime. I keep forgetting to take my camera with me when I go out. I tried contacting Van before I left but he never returned my call. Oh well, it was good to see that kid before I left. He’s only become more ‘Texan’ since I last saw him.
(Good one. He’s only become more ‘South Dakotan’ since I married him!)
I think about the Academy days and sometimes I get…I guess I’d say nostalgic. I don’t miss the actual BS we put up with but I think “Man, those days are gone. That step is over in my life. I can never get that back.” The trivial conversations with my classmates after Taps, the smell of morning dew, the serenity of walking to the cafeteria as another suns sets over Colorado. This is what comes to mind.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited about pursuing my next goals and challenges. It’s great. Perhaps it’s the scariness of age and life and how quickly we can move through it and not notice. That’s what one of my goals after graduation was: no more putting life on hold until next week, next month, next year. Now I try to enjoy every day. Key word is “TRY”. Some days I wish I could just skip. I speak to people who are between 26 and 30 years old and they mention their age as “old”. I don’t want to be like that. I hope I don’t embrace that mentality! If I am still clubbing at 30, trying to get with 21 year olds I’ll be a little concerned…
(I hope you are not doing this now. Cradle robber.)
Moving on to you. What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you agree, or think my thoughts are askew? It’s always great to hear from someone wiser and more mature than me. Do you have any days off there? What is your tent like? Do you have enough room to have privacy? Well I hope to continue writing you without interruption. I know mail is always cool to get from a friend, especially one as disturbingly handsome as me (wink). I make myself laugh! Yeah, I’m a dork. Have you guys had any USO celebrity visitors there? I’m betting Michael Dudikoff (Star of American Ninja 1, 2 & 4) will be there soon, huh? That would be sooooo awesome! All right, I hope this letter reaches you in good health. Thinking of you.
P.S. I wasn’t joking about Michael Dudikoff!
P.P.S. No, seriously. I will have Michael’s children one day!
P.P.P.S. Stop laughing…Be safe please.
(Oh…so that is where the Michael Dudikoff joke came from…Now it makes sense.)