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Friday, April 18, 2003
Jocks to GIs: Mike Modano


From: Mike Modano
Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 4:21 PM
To: Thibodeau David SSgt 384 EMDG/Decon
Subject: RE: Congratulations

Hey David,

I totally agree with you on the coverage the media has been giving us. For (the Iraqi media) to go on TV and say "there are no Americans over here", makes you wonder what type of people are running that country.

I'll be sure to pass on the story about the American flag to the guys.

To answer your question about the All-Star Game, it was in Montreal in 1993. It was the first one I played in. I think my parents were more excited than I was! It seems like ages ago. Time seems to be going by too fast.

Sorry for being short today, got to get some running around done today before rush hour. I'll check back later tonight.

Mike.


From: Thibodeau David SSgt 384 EMDG/Decon
Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 7:57 AM
To: Mike Modano
Subject: Congratulations

Mike,

It was great to receive your E-mail. First, I want to congratulate you and your teammates for earning the top seed in the West. Marty Turco is on fire with only one loss in his last 21 starts. Your 85 points is not bad either. With your team's home record it will hopefully give you the advantage you will need to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. Edmonton always plays hard in the playoffs but I think you guys will be fine.

Your question on the press coverage. There has been a lot of discussion how much the press should be involved during this War. I do believe the press need to be involved but not in the capacity that they are. The World needs to know what is going on and why this War is important. We know the press has lots of power. What they put on paper becomes fact when it is only opinion. Then some members of the press have no Integrity and just make up stories to go with a picture. The American, Iraqi and World Press stories can report such a different story, even though they're talking about the same thing. If we believed the Iraqi news we were losing and that were not even in Baghdad yet, LOL. Both sides have learned to use the press the way they feel will help their cause. Saying that; I do not agree with the press being with Military Units out in the field. I know the American population loves to see footage of War. War is ugly and can add a lot of stresses for our families back home when they see their baby boy or girl as a POW or seeing solders from a specific Unit dead in a field and unsure if it is their son. The press tells us that they cannot say the name of the soldiers but let us show a picture of them laying on there stomach. Now you have people looking at this wondering and worried if that is their son or daughter. All right I am finished talking about the press. Next subject.

We have a program out here where individuals can purchase and place an American Flag on one of the Military Aircrafts. The location where the flag is going is classified until it returns. Once the flag returns, they create a Certificate that tells you the type of plane and the mission it accomplished. We use this as going away gifts or sending it back home to a school or organization. A way for us to show we appreciate the support we have received from them. The reason I am telling you this is because I placed a Flag on one of these missions for you and the Dallas Stars organization. Just a way of me thanking you for chatting with a GI. I hope you will like it. There is more of a story that goes with these flags but we will need to talk another day when the war is over.

We just had Commander's Call a couple of days ago. It was interesting. Our Commander walked into the room and asked the group who in the room was a Hero. It was quiet and not a single hand was raised in the room. Then he asked how many of us supported Heroes. Without hesitation, every hand was raised. He paused for a bit. Then he told us that we needed to rethink our first answer. I know the point he was making. We all make sacrifices being here and taking part in this War. I just don't know how we could answer any differently when we have men and women losing their lives everyday. Giving the ultimate sacrifice for their Country. Those individuals are Heroes. The girl who was captured and then later rescued by Special Forces. She is my Hero. She did not surrender, even when things were at their worst. She did what most of us hope we would be able to do in that situation. She kept fighting. That is a Hero.

I might have too much time here. I am full of opinions and way too much time to think about everything. You have been to a few All-Star games in your career. That has to be so cool. My question is when you went to your first All-Star game did you feel like a kid? Did you have your family and friends come out to see the game?

Talk to you later.

David


From: Mike Modano
Sent: Monday, April 7, 2003 5:53 PM
To: Thibodeau David SSgt 384 EMDG/Decon
Subject: RE: Greetings from the Sandbox

David,

Well hello to you to0 David, finally!!! They had asked me about doing this about a week ago and finally today, gave me my password and all that info to be able to access the emails. It's 4:30 on Monday afternoon, I think it's around midnight or one in the morning there. I have been watching CNN everyday since this had all started going down.

Well to tell you a little about myself. I'm from Detroit, Michigan. I lived there until I was around 15 and then headed off to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to play junior hockey. At 18 I got drafted by the Minnesota North Stars and played there for about 4 years before we all moved to Dallas in 1993. I have to tell you moving down here was the best thing that ever happened. I didn't know much about Texas, but now I never want to leave. There is certainly something about the Southern Mentality and the women. Oh my god!! They are all pretty damn hot!!

So, growing up in Detroit, my dad and I watched a lot of Hockey Night in Canada, too. Daryl Sittler was someone I liked watching. My dad is from Boston so obviously a big Bruin fan, Terry O'reilly and Wayne Cashman. We got to go to a lot of games in the old Boston Garden around Thanksgiving time. The Red Wings were terrible!

As far as music, I love Linkin Park, Godsmack, Eagles, Bob Segar, the Stones, still haven't caught on to all that Country stuff yet. I love traveling in the offseason, we go to Vegas and Mexico to get away and have some fun. Other than that I just spend time here in Dallas, playing a lot of golf and hanging out with friends.

Doesn't it bother you having all that Media over there? I would think they are just getting in the way and you guys have to baby sit them all. I can't stand the media, I'm thinking you guys can't either.

Well, playoffs start on Wednesday and we pulled the Edmonton Oilers for the 6th time out of 7 years. We couldn't believe it. Detroit lost in overtime so that gave us the #1 seed in the West.

Well David, I truly believe what you guys are doing over there was much needed and had to be done and me and the rest of the team send you all our best. Please keep in touch, I'm always on my computer here.

Take care. Mike.


From: Thibodeau David SSgt 384 EMDG/Decon
Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2003 9:20 AM
To: Mike Modano
Subject: Greetings from the Sandbox

Mike,

Wow. Where to start? First let me first tell you a little bit about myself. I'm Staff Sergeant David Thibodeau, age 31. I have been a member of the United States Air Force for 10 years. My current location is still classified but I can tell you that there is plenty of sand. I am married with two children. My wife Tina is also in the Air Force. My daughter Elise is 8 and son, Matthew, just turned 2. When I'm not living in this giant sand box, my home station is F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. I have played hockey almost all my life, starting at age 5. When I was 7 or 8, I started playing goalie. I was the only kid who was willing to play the position without all the equipment.

The Air Force has stationed me in the following areas; Korea, California, and Panama. Not a lot of hockey in those areas! I was able to start playing again when I got stationed in Cheyenne. I'm the goalie for the Snake River Brewery in Cheyenne's Adult Hockey League. Great bunch of guys. They could work on defense but hey, I could stop giving up the five hole. My son never misses any of my games. He is only two years old but already loves the game or maybe just loves seeing his daddy play. He comes in the locker room with me so that he can help me get ready. He is also the first person to hit my pads before I step out on to the ice. He saw my teammates do it so now he wants to do it before I go on the ice.

I was pulled out half way through the current season for this deployment. I was having my best season so far!. My wife and kids are my life and the reason I am here. Lots of people have different opinions about Operation Iraqi Freedom. Whenever I get frustrated, I just think of my family. They are the most important thing in the world to me. They keep me going and keep me from going nuts when I'm deployed. E-mails and pictures from back home keep me smiling.

About deployment life. I am part of the 384th Expeditionary Medical Group's Patient Decontamination Team. We are activated and sent to war when there is a threat of Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical contamination. Our mission is to decontaminate patients so that they may enter the Medical Facility and receive the care they need. All the members of our team bring something to make our team work. We are the last team that you would want to see activated, but everyone is very glad that we are here. I hope we never have to work! That would be bad news.

They keep telling me summer is coming soon. So right now it's only hot. Can't wait to feel what summer is going to be like. I figure after 120 degrees I won't be able to tell the difference when it reaches 140.

I remember an interview you had when the Stars moved to Dallas. You were talking about how it was nice not to have to wake up early to shovel snow and warm up your vehicle. I don't miss the snow either but I would rather deal with snow than these Sand Storms!

So enough about me. Got a little long winded. I just figure since I know what you do for a living, I needed to give you a little bit of a background about what I do and my life when I'm not deployed. The question I have for you is: What do you do when your not playing hockey? What types of Music, Movies, or games interest you? I know that we all have a life outside of hockey.

David