Justin Dodson was in the special forces and served America with every ounce of his being. After returning home from war, the young patriot was devastated to learn that his own body had turned against him. Justin was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive illness that leaves muscles all but useless.
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Justin is a huge fan of TV personality Mike Rowe and spends his days reading about the hard working all-American. Justin’s mother, Diane, knew her son looked up to Rowe, so she decided to reach out to the ‘Dirty Jobs’ star and let him know. Diane’s letter eventually made it’s way to Rowe, and the big hearted celebrity quickly responded in the best way. Rowe posted Diane’s original letter and his reply on his Facebook page in the transcription below.
Dear Mike: I sit here in tears, because of you.
Our son Justin – a strong willed, a special forces military man who fought in countries where most of us will never go, loves to watch and read about you. “Totally an admirable man.” That’s what he always says about you.
Our son is dying from ALS. Later this afternoon, he had a horrible experience causing him great discomfort both physical and emotional. After a little time to calm down, and with the help of his girlfriend, they opened his mail, and found what you sent. It brought tears to his eyes just knowing you took the time out to acknowledge him.
So, from two parents who are watching their son die a slow and horrible death, brought on by defending our freedom in other countries, we send you our deepest gratitude.
I suspect words like “Merry”and “Happy”are difficult to hear at the moment, so I’ll forego the holiday greetings, and simply say “you’re welcome.â€
I was very sad to learn of your son’s illness, and deeply humbled that a man like Justin finds me “admirable.”Please assure him the feeling is mutual.
The truth is, acknowledging Justin’s service is both an honor and a privilege. I know that my freedom and my liberty were bought and paid for by people like your son. I know his freedom is now being removed one day at a time. I know that his liberty is being slowly denied, by an enemy he cannot overcome.
I would like you to know, that your note reminded me of just how tenuous it all is. Our freedom. Our liberty. Our health. It’s all so fragile. And so damn easy to take for granted.
Sooner or later, our bodies will fail us. There are no exceptions. But what Justin did with his body while it was still in his control, has left me forever in his debt, and mindful of what matters most. Because ultimately, there is no greater threat to our freedom, than a lack of gratitude to those who provide it.
Your note is a reminder that acknowledging soldiers like Justin, requires me to count my many blessings, and vow to be a better version of myself. Actually Diane, it’s more than a reminder — it’s a gift. A gift from you and your son.
A gift for which we, the undersigned, are most grateful.
It’s wonderful that a celebrity took the time to honor one of our country’s finest in such an incredible way.
Share this beautiful moment today!
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