Doc and Eric, I just wanted to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation to both of you for allowing me to attend your concert in Ichikawa and to spend a couple of days with my daughter. After being away from home and family for so long I certainly appreciated the time I had to visit with Aren. It was a fun time and I enjoyed every minute of it. I have been here for nearly a year and I have spent most of my time here alone and working. Therefore, spending a few days with my daughter and then being blessed with an opportunity to watch, observe and attend your concert was an absolute treat. I will forever be in your debt for the hospitality you all showed me.
I would also like to take a few moments to tell you how impressed I was with the young men and women that you have playing in your band. I was absolutely taken back by the polite demeanor and respect that each of them displayed toward me. I realize that I was an inconvenience to the group as an outsider but never did any of them make me feel that way. The mature attitude that was displayed throughout my visit was very impressive. I witnessed a young lady give up her seat on the train for an elderly gentlemen without hesitation, I witnessed their generosity when helping out their fellow band member with money issues and when the work needed to be done everybody pitched in and helped without asking or being told. Most of all I witnessed a bunch of young people that come from different places work together to make such wonderful music and I have to say that each and everyone of them are truly blessed with a gift. As a leader of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in my Navy career I have worked with many young men and women over my 15 years and I can tell you that I would stack up this bunch with the best of them. I was truly impressed with their discipline, dedication and loyalty to their band, their director, their fellow members and to their country. And it gives me a wonderful feeling to know that these individuals are our next generation of leaders in our society. They are an absolutely wonderful bunch of young people and I cannot say enough good things about all of them. I truly felt like one of the them even if for only a day or two which made the experience all the better.
Please pass this along for me and thank them for making me feel so comfortable while visiting and intruding on their trip. I will truly remember those few days forever as they were special time for me and my daughter but also for the wonderful hospitality and generosity you all showed toward me!
I thank you for allowing me to be part of your Wartburg family for a few days and it gives me great comfort to know that my daughter has so many good friends in her life. Being gone so long from home makes a man worry about his family. I can tell you that after spending a few days with all of you I can honestly say that I will worry less about who my daughter associates with in her life. If she picked a nice bunch of kids like you as friends I know she is headed in the right direction.
LCDR Todd Souhrada, USN
COMNAVFORJAPAN N2 Plans, Exercise,
Senior Watch Officer and Senior Military Adviser