The Form of Camaraderie

Mrs. Simmons:

Thank you for this update.  The following is not a request for medical assistance or a communication of a past, present, or future violation of the US or Iowa Codes.

I want to thank; I believe he said his first name is Oz (my short-term memory is horrible lately unless I have my database in front of me) for having the humility to be a human first and a law enforcement officer and put himself at the same level as me during many very dark times in my life recently when he helped me.  Whenever I talk to a Grinnell, IA PD officer, I feel like I am talking to a friend I have not had in a long time.  I don’t have any family or friends, and none of the emails I send out to state, county, and local government (other than Grinnell get responses unless required by law.  I greatly appreciate the service of all of your law enforcement officers.  I have waved to them when I see them at Walmart and around Grinnell because they are among the few people I trust, believe in, and feel connected with.

I have recently felt like giving up on this public records work because of the pain of betrayal, the evidence of lies, being bullied, criminalized, or dealing with class-level hostility from the country that I served and its county attorneys who communicate as if other people’s lives don’t matter has significantly damaged the way I feel and trust this country.  But every time I feel like quitting, I realize that I no longer feel or have a connection to anything else.  I no longer feel connected to the future or have anything to look forward to.

The only thing I have left is to work toward correcting something that significantly impacted my children’s lives to serve and help others while defending them from what we have lost.  At the same time, there is this part of me that hopes someday that the country I served accepts me and wants me to be a part of it.  I feel lost in the darkness of the sea at night and will always believe that the world around me will be illuminated again by the friendship and bond the North Star above once provided me when I was lost and unable to see.

This email is a message of gratitude to Jasper County, Iowa, Sheriff Halferty, and the Grinnell, Iowa, Police Department.  They have provided me with the only moments that have helped me feel like I have a friend.  These moments were like when two parties cast a mooring line to a ship lost at sea while helping it find a pier to hold onto.

Every day, I wake up and turn to God because of my faith and because I have nothing left on this Earth.  I watch the videos I include in my emails throughout the day to keep going forward and to help me stay connected to the only family I have left.  At the same time, I work to help others and restore my relationship with my children because giving up has never been an option for me.

The greatest gift I have received during this experience is the wisdom and understanding that it does not matter what we have lost, what disabilities we have, or how low our morale has become.  With faith, love, hope, and the lawful desire to evolve and overcome adversity, we can accomplish anything and conquer any path God has placed in front of us.

When Ryan Eaton sent me the email where he accused me of stalking Jasper County, IA employees, I was at a point where I had been falsely accused of so many crimes by so many people attempting to shift the light away from the evidence of their conduct that I could not take anymore.  I was a few weeks out from the treatment I received at the VA last year, and I was at a place where I had nothing and no one left.  I went to the Jasper County, IA, Sheriff’s Office, and he was the first elected leader in Jasper County, IA, who talked to me in person with truth and authenticity.  At the same time, flying through the smoke, others had manifested against me to throw me a lifeline.  It is an act of kindness that I will never forget.

I am broken, and I have nothing left, but I refuse to believe or accept that I am unable to take flight in accordance with our laws one more time to serve and help someone else.

Being a Sailor and standing a watch in the defense of someone else is all I know how to do.  It is who I am.  The only thing I am seeking is to help others and to feel like I have come home.


Michael J. Merritt

Featured Image: The Grinnell, IA Police Department