Reporting Mark Zinno
Hello again everyone!! Training continues at Fort Dix, NJ. Much like the rest of Maryland, we have had our fair share of snow here, which has slowed things down a little, but not terribly. All this cold weather actually makes us look forward to the idea of sunny Baghdad!! We have hit the steadier portion of our training. We have fitted and tested our protective gas masks, gotten drivers training on some of the vehicles we will be working with over there, and got to go to the range to fire our weapons … which is always the most fun!
Spirits are high for our unit. The soldiers all work with a sense of purpose and dedication. Sometimes the days are long (and cold) but still, I think we all understand the mission in front of us. Ironically, we are hearing so much about the expected draw-down later this year. And for those of you who don’t know the US says that everyone is supposed to be out of Iraq by December 31st, 2011. I can’t help but thing what an amazing experience it would be if we were some of the last soldiers to walk off that soil accomplishing what we did. Regardless of your feelings on the war itself, to be part of the group that “shuts the lights out” is something that will be a mark on all of our military careers. I think we are truly blessed for that opportunity.
We all got to watch the Ravens game … disappointing as it was. But still, again, any touch of home is something worthwhile. And wouldn’t you know it, there was one freakin’ Steelers fan in the room too! Not from our unit, we are all purple and black, but from another unit. We tried to lock him in his room! We have even managed to celebrate a few birthdays together!
Upcoming for us is more training for us in our specific areas, more time at the ranges and even a little downtime. Plus we will all get a 4-day pass to go see our families before we leave America for good. Again, as soon as I get an address overseas, I will pass it along to everyone so that you can send me stuff!! HAHA!
Thanks again for all the emails. Keep them coming. I enjoy talking sports with everyone!!! The email address again: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay well everyone!