Proud to Be an American

"Operation Southern Watch is run by coalition forces from the U.S., U.K., and France," Miller said. He had frequent conversations about life in America—and can't recall a single question about Bill Gates or Bill Clinton.  "Everyone, even the French, wanted to talk about successes like Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, and Tiger Woods," Miller said. "The ability to succeed and live free from racism is what projects our greatness to the world."

"Before I left for Saudi Arabia on December 8, 2001," Miller said, "I remember seeing stories on TV about Muslims being victimized [in retaliation for the attacks of September 11]." Miller hoped that his colleagues at the base would not turn on the TV to those kinds of news stories from the States. What he learned during his deployment was that America is respected for its diversity, not its homogeneity.  "You can't imagine how much one five-second story like that would tarnish America's greatness," Miller said.

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