As I sit down to write this, I don’t even know what to say. What DO you say to a singing soldier who has risked his life for his country and has calmed the nerves of countless scared troops in Afghanistan with his unique and compelling voice? The first thing I need to say: Paul Ieti, THANK YOU. Thank you for your service to our great country. Thanks to you and all our service men and women that travel the world and give of yourself and your life so freely to support our freedoms. Thank you. Without all of you, I couldn’t be writing this. I wouldn’t be watching you on “America’s Got Talent” in the comfort of my home. I wouldn’t have been able to know when I woke up today that I would be free to work, spend time with my family and kiss my son goodnight. Paul Ieti, without selfless people like you, our great nation would not be what it is. “Thank you,” does not seem like even enough to scratch the surface of gratitude I have for you and all of those serving (and those that have served) in our armed forces.

So who is Paul Ieti? He is an American Samoan who grew up singing at church and for his siblings. He has made a career of serving our country and recently served a deployment in Afghanistan, While Paul was deployed, soldiers would ask him to sing to take them away from their reality. When he was scared, when they were scared, he would sing. Not only did he put his own life in harms way, he took care to calm the fears of others who were also in situations that we can not even imagine. Paul Ieti is a true American Hero.

Tonight, Paul received a standing ovation before and after his performance–and for a good reason. For as beautiful and heartwarming as his back story was, his voice completely blew everyone away. There is no way that anyone could have anticipated the incredibly unique voice that came out of Paul Ieti tonight. I am sure that I was not alone in being completely surprised by the range of his voice. Of course it prompted me to immediately look into other songs that he has sang. Wow, was I surprised by what I found.

Paul Ieti can sing, I’m sure we can all agree on that. But Paul Ieti can sing many, many different genres of music, and manage to have a unique and interesting sound for each one. That’s something truly special that I’m not sure I have seen in any talent or singing competition in a long time. Usually, singers prefer to stay in certain genres that compliment their qualities. Paul has showed us that he can sing any genre and sing it well. That will help him in this competition for sure.

Here is Paul’s version of, “Home” by Michael Buble. This is a very endearing video and tribute. I think it totally embodies what he and every other service members must feel while they are deployed, far from home, and longing to be back with their family and friends.

Moving away from crooning, Paul tries his luck with, “All of Me” by John Legend. This pop song has taken America by storm. This version is so beautiful and really does this song  justice.

What about a classic such as, “At Last” by Etta James? He nails it.

Still not convinced? What about a country cover of, “All You Ever” by Hunter Hayes?

OK, OK just one more. And this one is because my dad is obsessed with this song. Here is Paul Ieti’s version of “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross. If you’ve ever wonder where I get my insane gift of “sappiness,” it’s from my dad. Thanks, Pops!

So was I the only one to totally gush over our singing solider, Paul Ieti? No way. America loved him just as much as I did. Who couldn’t? Twitter was sounding off with support for Paul.

Paul had a great quote during his performance, that he wants to “continue to enjoy life as a free American.” Yes, Paul Ieti. That is exactly what I want too.  That’s what I want for my family and friends. I only have service men and women just like you to thank for those freedoms to enjoy life. Thank you, Paul Ieti for sharing your talent with us tonight and for risking your life to allow all Americans to enjoy life as a free American.