Everyday working-class hero and host of the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe, has developed a tremendous following off-screen due to his willingness to tackle tough questions from fans.

He is the poster-boy for hard work in America, an advocate for blue-collar trade workers and a patriot through and through.

Rowe is not immune to criticism for his opinions, but he often tackles that criticism with an honest and open debate.

So, when one fan criticized him for his lack of military service, Rowe didn’t shy away from providing a heartfelt, open response.

A woman named Donna Dotts wrote to him, saying she is no longer a fan after learning he had never volunteered to enter the service.

“Mr. Rowe, I was impressed by some of the things you’ve done in your life, but that came to an end when I discovered that you apparently never volunteered to serve in your country’s military,” she pointed out. “Why is that?”

Rowe pointed out quickly that the woman’s decision to form such an opinion and then share it publicly is rather odd and unnecessary, but then tackled her question head-on.

 

“If … you’re asking me why I didn’t join the military back when I was young enough to do so, I guess the honest answer is because I was selfish,” Rowe admitted.

“Back in the early eighties, I put myself before my country, and pretty much everything else,” he continued. “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.”

Rowe went on to say that while he’d love to have “another whack at the piñata” in hindsight, he does his God’s honest best to support the men and women in our military today.

“I’m blown away by the character of the young men and women who choose to wear a uniform today,” he said. “I do what I can to support these people, and I acknowledge their extraordinary service whenever and wherever possible.”

 

“I do what I can to support these people, and I acknowledge their extraordinary service whenever and wherever possible,” Rowe said.

“Obviously, supporting our military is not the same as enlisting in it, and wearing their uniform on a TV show is a far cry from actual service. But I’m afraid it’s all I can offer at this point in my misspent career.”

It is a refreshingly humble response, admitting the mistakes of a young man and trying to make up for it as he developed success in his career as an older gentleman.

What do you think of Mike Rowe’s response about not volunteering for military service? Share your thoughts below!

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