Back when I was teaching school and coaching in rural Wyoming, I met a young man named Mike Emerson. Mike attended Rock River High School, about 17 miles down the road from our own town of Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Rock River was even smaller than Medicine Bow. As a cross-country coach, I got to see all the kids from the other schools run each week during CC and track. Rock River rarely had enough kids to field a 5-man cross-country team, but there was one kid--one tough, smart, scrappy, gutsy kid--named Mike Emerson who made a big impression on me. This was back in the years 1985 to 1989, so obviously Mike is no longer a high schooler but most likely in his late thirties or early forties.
About a month ago through the wonders of the internet I reestablished contact with Mike. He was at that time--and still is---deployed to Iraq as an Air Force pilot, flying some type of huge aircraft, possibly a C-130, to different parts of Iraq. Mike will be coming home in a few weeks, God willing.Crew Photo.
Big-ass bird! Note the Wyoming National Guard logo on the tail.
Mike was very interested that I taught at a school named Emerson High School. After all, that's his name. He asked if he could buy a couple of shirts with the Emerson name and logo on them. Instead, Principal Wendy Cavan donated the shirts and I put them in a box and mailed them to Iraq via the APO.
Mike sent this picture of the Emerson shirt in the cockpit of his aircraft.
Thanks, Mike, for your service, and come home safely.
Sunset over Baghdad, by Mike Emerson.