One of the priviledges of my role as webmaster at Bernie's Insiders is a constant steam of email from Browns fans all over the world. Most often, emailers want help with technical problems they're having, or talk about things they would like to see (or not see) on the web site. Sometimes they just want to talk football via email or vent their frustration or happiness at the way things are going for the team.
Over the last four or five months in particular, I've gotten a number of emails from servicemen in the Middle East who are trying to get onto the site or are looking for more information on the Browns.
For what I'm sure are good reasons, the military blocks access to discussion boards to men serving overseas in the Middle East. So, I occasionally try to get them some information they need or occasionally relay information to their friends on the boards that they're alright, but just can't meet up on the forums.
One of the servicemen who frequents the Bernie's Insiders forums, namely the Watercooler, goes by the handle of DeployedDawg. DeployedDawg can't visit the boards these days because he's in Saudi Arabia, although he's scheduled to come back home soon.
Deployed told me about something he did that I thought Bernie's Insiders visitors and his friends in the Watercooler might want to hear about. Here's part of his email:
Be it hereby known that this Cleveland Browns Flag was flown in the hostile skies overIRAQ during OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCHfrom Prince Sultan Air Base, Al Kharj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
forSSgt Deployed Dawgon 22 AUG 2002, in an F-15C EagleEnforcing the Southern No-Fly/No-Drive Zone
Today's Defenders of America's Freedom have not forgottenthe tremendous contributions of those who preceded us
If I were Saddam, the thought of the Dawg Pound bearing down on me would give me pause.
Browns fans are everywhere: from the flats of Cleveland, to the desert of Saudi Arabia, to the skies over Iraq. On this day of remembering, let's take a moment to offer our word of thanks to the Browns fans who are missing out a lot of this exciting season because they're helping to make sure that what happened last year doesn't happen again.