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Letter to Editor: A thank you to the community

May 08, 2013 - I would just like to say a few thank-yous to the little town that has worked to raise me and mold me into the young woman I am today.

On May 29, I will be leaving for Great Lakes, IL where I will begin basic training to become a sailor in the United States Navy. I am both excited and nervous about what I am about to begin, but I made this decision knowing both the risks and rewards.

I would like to thank the Oxford Village Police Department and the Oxford Fire Departmentm, who have many members that go above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant Mike Solwold and Reserve Officer Sean Brown have each gone out of their way to help me. Both men are outstanding examples of community officers, dedicated to the greater good of their citizens. In the fire department, I would like to thank Darin Balinski and Kevin Snell who have pushed me and encouraged me day-in and day-out to be more than I ever knew was possible.

I am most grateful to Bryan Beaune at Building Your Temple Functional Fitness Facility. I contacted him out-of-the-blue one day, asking about training at his facility for the month before I leave for basic training. I told him that I was "honestly pretty scrawny" and didn't want to hit a wall at boot camp. Within hours, I was in the BYT doors, getting ready for my first CrossFit class. I can honestly say that I have never felt more welcomed into a group of strangers before. I felt like part of a little family. I cannot thank Bryan, Darin, Kristine, Kevin, Daniel, Danielle, Jason, Stacey, Deena, and all my other teammates enough for how greatly they've helped me in such a short period of time.

Finally, a warm thank you to Mike Watson at the Oxford High School Athletic Department. I can honestly say that Mr. Watson is a shining example of what a role model and mentor should be.

I quickly learned that I could come to Mike with any question or concern, or even just needing a talk. He has always been straightforward and honest with me, congratulating me when I deserved it, and compassionately reprimanding me when it was necessary.

I am blessed to have grown up in Oxford, where no matter how much our community grows, we still hold strong to our roots and community values.

Everywhere I turn in this town, I know I have someone to keep me moving forward and pick me up when I'm down.

I'm honored to be able to come home on leave to such a warm and welcoming place, one that I literally can come "home" to.

FS Larissa Krueger, USN

Oxford, OHS Class of 2012

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