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Doug Nitzkorski letter: Tribute to a polite man on the airplane

I don't know his last name, but his first name is Jim. I met him on an airplane traveling from Denver to Fargo on July 19. He politely gave up his seat (twice) to accommodate people who wished to sit together, including my family. The rearran...

I don't know his last name, but his first name is Jim. I met him on an airplane traveling from Denver to Fargo on July 19. He politely gave up his seat (twice) to accommodate people who wished to sit together, including my family. The rearranged seating allowed me to sit next to Jim and visit during the flight.

Jim is a strong, young man from a farm near Shelly, Minn. He served on active duty with the United States Marine Corps from 1988 until 1992, with service in the Gulf War. He then served with the Reserves until Sept. 2001, when he was again called to active duty as a company commander. So now, after another 10 months of service, he was headed home.

The Marines recently asked Jim to voluntarily extend his active duty for another 10 months. Believing that the United States will likely take action against Iraq in the fairly near future, that his country may need him, and that he has something to contribute to the effort, Jim accepted the voluntary extension. He has interrupted his civilian career in physical therapy to again serve his country.

I told him privately that I was proud of him, and thanked him for what he is doing for all of us. Upon returning home, I thought it would be appropriate to thank Jim publicly. I hope someone who knows Jim reads this and shares this letter with him.

Jim, knowing that you, and many men and women like you are out there watching out for us, I can sleep very well at night. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you for what you are doing for us. I'm proud of you. We are all proud of you.

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Doug Nitzkorski

Littleton, Colo.

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