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Jocks to GIs: Tiki Barber

From: Tiki Barber

Sent: Sunday, April 6, 2003 9:09 PM
To: Campanelli Joe TSgt 376 ECS/SCBS
Subject: Hey!

Joe,

What's happening? You know, you're right up my alley with the communication stuff. I'm a junkie with all the electronic toys ... laptops, palms, cell phones, not to mention the fact that I'm probably one of the biggest computer geeks in the NFL. I was a MIS major at Virginia, all I used to do was sit in the computer lab for hours. I learned all those languages, Basic, COBAL, C++, even HTML, designing and writing databases and webpages 'til my eyes popped out. Now they have all these easy does it programs so anyone can do it. But I know all the crap that can go wrong, never had to experience a mouse though. Oh well, let me stop.


As you know I've been a Giant my whole career so far and after playing here there is no way I'd want to play anywhere else. If you really get out and appreciate all this area has to offer, you can't help but love it. I've been married to my wife Ginny for four years in May, but we've been together since my second year at UVa. We just had a son, nine months on Tuesday. His name is AJ. My wife is half Korean and half Vietnamese (an interesting story I'll tell you some time), she's beautiful so our son has an awesome mix of genes. You already know I have a twin brother, but what's funny is people always joke that we do things the same, well he just had a baby too, Yamille (11 months on Friday).


So, we just got back into the groove of things, our offseason program started two weeks ago. It's amazing how fast the off-season goes but it's good b/c you start to get bored and anxious after a while. I'm pretty excited about this upcoming season. We had some changes, Jason is gone, which kind of sucks b/c he was a good friend of mine and think he's finally gotten over all his injuries but such is the business. We signed some great free agents, Brian Mitchell and Dorsey Levens from the Eagles and a long snapper, Ryan Kuehl, people take those guys for granted, but we learned last year how important they are. I think we shored up our special teams and offense in free agency and in the draft we'll probably work on the defense. I have to get myself a championship before it's too late. That's the tough thing about this sport, your window of opportunity is short to win one and put yourself in the history books.


Man, 18 years in the Air Force is a long time. You've been in longer than I've been playing football. I started about 16 years ago. That's an awesome commitment to make to your country, it takes a lot of unselfishness and a lot of understanding from your family. Missing big family events isn't easy. Do you ever bring you family with you when you sent somewhere (not counting now in war time)? My grandfather was in the military (he died in Vietnam before I was born), my mom talks about living in Germany and living that military life. I know it can't be easy.


Alright, I'm gonna run. Keep in touch. I look forward to hearing from you. God Bless and God Speed.


Tiki


From: Campanelli Joe TSgt 376 ECS/SCBS

Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2003 9:03 AM
To: Tiki Barber
Subject: RE: What's up

Tiki,

This is so cool!! I can't believe my luck. How great for you to be e-mailing me. I definitely appreciate the respect and admiration, but you face more dangerous odds every Sunday during the Season. So much to say, where to begin.


OK well, I have been in the Air Force for 18 years. I am 36 and I have been married to my wonderful wife for 17 years. We have 2 great kids. Joseph 19 and Danielle 15. And before you start doing the math, I adopted him when he was 3. Great kids, both of them, I am truly blessed by god. They have been the greatest joys of my life. Kids are one of life's pleasures and stresses at the same time. My son like me is a Giants fan, he kinda flipped when he was about 10 from the Bills... haha. But my Daughter, she is living up to her female ways and is a Cowboy fan. Yeah I know, but you can't send kids back...


Football season is great at my house, there is always a good fight. This year was great in spite of you not getting to the show. I am glad that Rhonde got to go and win. TB has been so close for so long and they have a classy organization. We got to watch the game live here and it was great... I was glad that it was someone who really busted their tail and deserved to be there.


Anyhow, I have been here in Kyrgyzstan for 135 days and I am not sure when we will be leaving. We originally came for 6 months and then got told we were extended indefinitely. I would love to say that you get used to being deployed, but you don't. Over 18 years I have been deployed many times. I have missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, first holy communions and the passing of loved ones and you never quite get used to it. You just have tell yourself that it is for something bigger than yourself.


I don't know about others in the Military, but I take what I do serious. Granted, we are not getting shot at, in 18 years I have learned that it doesn't get done unless everybody does their part. Much like a football team. If special teams has bad day, your 6 million dollar QB doesn't mean a damn thing. Being in the Air Force definitely has been better than say the Marines. While I have nothing but respect and admiration for them, I will keep my job. I am a Network Administrator (computer geek) and I love what I do. I love the fact that there is always a logical solution to all computer problems...


I will cut this short. Ask whatever you want and I will do my best... Are you married? Kids? Thanks again for doing this, it means more than you know.


Joe


From: Tiki Barber

Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2003 7:35 AM
To: Campanelli Joe TSgt 376 ECS/SCBS
Subject: RE: What's up

Joe,

I have to say this is a much greater honor for me. I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and the courage it must take to do your job. I'm really looking forward to writing back and forth with you over the next couple of months, or however long you are over there. Hit me back so we can make sure everything is cool with the logistics of the email. Take care and talk to you soon.


Tiki


From: Campanelli Joe TSgt 376 ECS/SCBS

Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 8:51 PM
To: Tiki Barber
Subject: What's up

Hey Tiki,

What a huge honor! Thanks so much for taking time out to correspond with me.. I will try to keep this short until I know that your getting them. I hope everything is going good with you and I will talk to you soon.


Joe Campanelli