Artists receive gifts and letters from fans all the time, and this week, Travis Denning received one that he says, “Hit me like a train.” In a video posted to social media this week, Denning shared that the gift came from a fan and U.S. service member named Sgt. Matthew Norman. Along with the gift came a letter, in which Norman told Denning that they had met at a show in Kansas in 2019, and during their meeting, Norman promised Denning he would send him an American flag from one of his deployments. Now two years later, Sgt. Norman is making good on his promise by sending Denning a flag from his last deployment with the request that Denning send back a photo of himself with the flag.
“Your support for our country and our troops is greatly appreciated,” Denning reads from Sgt. Norman’s letter in the video. “Keep cranking out the hits, keep hooking those fish. If you’re ever in Kansas and you want to fish, it would be a dream to fish with you. I wish you and your band nothing but success.”
After reading the letter, Denning said that he was “at a loss for words” at Sgt. Norman’s gift. He also shared that the package from Norman was even more impactful in the wake of the recent attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan which resulted in the loss of 13 U.S. service members.
“This has been an incredibly difficult and just downright dark time in our country with the loss of 13 Marines overseas as we are attempting to get out of Afghanistan,” said Denning. “I’ve been praying a lot, my heart’s been super heavy, and right around the corner, the 20th Anniversary of 9/11.”
“I believe that every man and woman who’s ever served in the United States armed services are the true rock stars of this country and they just don’t get a shred of enough of what they deserve,” the singer continued.
Before wrapping up the video, Denning assured Sgt. Norman that they will “definitely” go fishing together. He also turned the camera to show the folded American flag and plaque with Denning’s name on it sent by Norman. Denning shared more of his thoughts in the video’s caption, again sending his thanks to Sgt. Norman.
“I am constantly in awe of the courage and strength it takes to be one of the men and women who serve in our military,” wrote Denning. “This is the most special thing I have ever received. Thank you SGT Matthew Norman for this. Let’s go fish buddy.”