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Dear Flood Fighter

Dear Flood Fighter,

I just wanted to write you and tell you how proud of you I am. No one told you that you’d spend a week filling, passing, and stacking. That’s not why you came here. But that didn’t stop you.

When you heard the news of the flood, you didn’t shrug and look the other way. You spent the weekend filling bags. And when the college was scheduled to have class the Monday after, you didn’t just go along with it. You took the time to write emails to the administration, pleading with them to allow you to become responsibly engaged in the world the best way you knew how.

When the mist turned to rain, you didn’t let it extinguish your spirit. You stood in the mud, passing bags, not caring about the mess on your shoes. You didn’t just ignore the mud: you wore it as a badge of honor. You smeared it on your face and clothes and let it become the new trendy accessory. When the rain turned to snow, you didn’t care. You added extra layers, hand and foot warmers. You gave gloves to those who didn’t have them. You didn’t let the freezing temperatures freeze your desire.

As the week progressed, you somehow made manual labor the cool thing to do. “Are you bagging today?” you’d ask. But if the answer was, “No,” you didn’t judge. You felt bad for them, and encouraged them to get out and do anything they could.

You bagged on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. You bagged houses miles from town belonging to people you didn’t know, all for the greater good. You bagged for your friends and complete strangers. It didn’t make a difference to you, Flood Fighter. As long as they needed help, you were there.
You bagged, passed, and stacked until your muscles ached, and when they ached, you bagged, passed, and stacked some more. Not until your arms and back screamed for mercy did you finally call it a day. And when you did, you knew you were only resting for another day of the same.

It wasn’t just a day-in day-out battle for you, though, Flood Fighter. Some days you worked for hours on end, came home for a nap, and rose again with the moon for another shift. You filled the Fargodome and Sandbag Central to capacity so they had to turn people away. You showed up in such overwhelming numbers at all times that they didn’t know where to send you. And when the busses stood still, you took it upon yourself to find someone who needed your help.

Flood Fighter, you have gone above and beyond. When your community needed you more than ever, you answered the call and then some. You poured your heart and soul into every last bag along with the sand. And when they finally evacuated you to some other part of the world, you didn’t turn a deaf ear to the valley. You watched anxiously as the news covered the flood. You checked every day to see when you could get back. You bagged in other parts of Minnesota and North Dakota. You refused to forget.

So thanks again, Flood Fighter, for all you’ve done. You’ve shown that our mission isn’t just for show. You mean it, and you’re not afraid to prove it with your blood, sweat, and tears. As for now, Flood Fighter, get your rest. We’ll need you again for the next fight.

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