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Dear Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base of Fort Worth,

I want to express my sincere affection and appreciation for you.

You don’t know me. I live and work across the lake from you. But, I’m reminded of you multiple times a day.  You see, I live and work about 1.5 miles directly north of you. I really mean it. I’m in a straight line with the air strip, and I hear your jets multiple times per day.

I’m a pastor, so it isn’t to foreign for me to tell people I hardly know that I love them. As a Christian, it is part of God’s command to me:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:36-40

But, I can understand why that might sound strange to you. That is why I said “Sincere Affection,” and added “Appreciation in “my title and opening statement.  Let me to woefully explain what I’m saying…

I want to say Thank You to the men and women that serve on your air strip, in your jets, in the halls of your buildings, and that walk around your campus.

Thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for training day and night, in the sun, wind and rain. Thank you for doing all of this so that families like mine can live within the safety of our borders. Thank you for potentially risking your life at any time, so that my kids can grow up in the relative safety afforded to us as Americans.

Thank you.

I often find myself outside when a jets is landing overhead. (I swear, if a pilot smiles, I think I can see their teeth.) When that happens, I often stop and pray for whoever might be in that jet or helicopter as it goes over. I pray for their safety, clearness of thought, and hand-eye coordination. I pray that they learn everything they have to learn, and that they do well at it all.

If a jet (or some other airplane , or helicopter) goes over and I’m outside with my children, I often take them into my arms. I point at the jet and say to my son, “Isn’t that cool! Doesn’t it look great!”  He usually puts his hands over his ears (since we really can see the pilots teeth in the cockpit) and buries his head in my shoulder. I pat him on the back and usually say, “That’s the sound of freedom, son.”

When I see your men and women in uniform around the area, I have to admit I’m kind of shy. They are eating, laughing, having a great time among themselves. I often desire to walk up and say “thank you,” and I’ve actually done it a couple of times. But, I get the sense that these men and women aren’t in it for the “thank you(s)” that might get thrown their way. I don’t want to embarrass them, nor interfere with their meals. So, I go on with the silent appreciation in my heart.

I must be some what of a fanboy. I admit it, I’m not ashamed of it. Just know, if you ever need anything; there is a small church down the way, (I would say, about 2.5 seconds away as the F-16 flies) who would be glad to help out.

Thanks again,