i have a lot to catch up on from the past few weeks. 

the following story leaps to the top of the backlog because it speaks to the role that software (and by extension, all of us) can have in the world (disregarding for a moment whatever idealogical stripe you may wear or how you feel about U.S. involvement in other parts of the world).

it's taken from the internal MS weekly newsletter that is published and distributed around campus.

for what it's worth, i'll append my praise to the good work done by Rebecca Riordan!

82nd Airborne Salutes Microsoft MVP

Author Answers Soldier’s Call for Technical Help in Afghanistan 

By Karen Mahardy


Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are an invaluable group of customers. Their expertise and influence are extensive, and their ability to have an impact on other customers is part of the reason that they are awarded the MVP title.

Rebecca Riordan is an Office MVP and author of Designing Relational Database Systems. She recently had a flag flown in her honor over a U.S. air base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It seems that someone recommended her book to a newsgroup user who turned out to be a soldier stationed with the 82nd Airborne Division in Kandahar. The soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Earl Schultz, didn’t have access to her book and needed to develop a database system for his unit’s personnel department. When Riordan heard of the problem, she e-mailed Schultz and offered to send a copy of her book and to help in the development of the system.

The unit was so grateful to Riordan that not only did it fly a flag in her honor, it sent her a certificate along with the flag. It read: “In recognition of your support above and beyond the call of duty, this flag was flown over Kandahar Airfield on 4 July 2003. Your support and dedication to SFC Earl Schultz while deployed has been instrumental in his morale and well being. Please accept this flag as a token of our appreciation of your efforts.”

Riordan said she feels like she’s become “some kind of mascot” for the unit. When members of the unit heard that she wanted to learn more about what the Army was like, they decided to give her a little taste. Members of one of the 82nd Airborne’s parachute regiments took with them a copy of Tom Clancy’s Airborne: A Guided Tour of an Airborne Task Force on a jump-training exercise. They jumped out of the plane carrying the book, signed it, and sent it to her as a reference.

Copyright Microsoft 2004