Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe was in for a shock when a former fan of his sent him a critical note recently, saying that she used to be impressed by him, until she found out something about his past.
That something was the fact that he had never volunteered to serve in the country’s military.
In a very public note, this woman named Donna Dotts asked him why that was. And oh boy, did Rowe respond.
On his Facebook page, he wrote, “If you’re asking me to explain why it is your overall impression of me depends upon my military service, or lack thereof, I’m afraid I have no idea. The truth is, I don’t know why you chose to form an opinion of me in the first place. Nor do I know why you have chosen to share that opinion publicly, revise that opinion publicly, and then demand an explanation, publicly. Only you can answer such questions.”
Then, after getting that part of the way, Rowe went on to give a very honest answer–that he was selfish at that age.
“Back in the early eighties, I put myself before my country, and pretty much everything else. I respected the military, but to be honest, I didn’t fully appreciate their impact on the many freedoms I took for granted. In short, I was busy being twenty,” he wrote.
As if his honesty were not commendable enough, he then used the opportunity to commend those who do serve at a young age.
“I’m blown away by the character of the young men and women who choose to wear a uniform today. I do what I can to support these people, and I acknowledge their extraordinary service whenever and wherever possible,” he wrote.
His fans immediately jumped to his defense, with more than 66,000 likes, and supportive comments to him after Donna’s criticism.
One fan wrote, “Perhaps Donna would like to share her own career path so random strangers can pass judgement on her choices. I’m having enough trouble with my own life to feel qualified to help others manage theirs. But that’s me.”
Another fan wrote, “As usual…well put Mr. Rowe. And that is coming from a 20 year Navy Vet. The military is not for everyone. You can love this country and serve her in other ways. You have and are doing that on a regular basis. I’ve got your six sir.”
You can read Rowe’s entire jaw-dropping statement below.