Etherton was grateful for the kind words, and the support provided throughout the contest. "The other guys in my unit kind of laughed about it and said, 'Figures, Etherton would put that on his bird,'" he said. "I was taken aback by how many people commented and liked my photo. Seeing how people were thanking soldiers, and knowing people in D.C. liked it, is even better. It's nice to know people see us as people and not just numbers in the war."