Hey folks!  Fort Dix, NJ is starting to turn into a nice place … well, not really, but it’s home for us and we are doing the best we can and having fun.  The training for my unit is starting to wind down.  That’s because we have completed most of it!  It’s been filled with more shooting, moving and communicating as we say in the Army.  The main focus of a lot of our training has been in accordance with what the government has deemed “advise, train, assist and equip” the Iraqi forces.  The drawdown seems serious on paper.  I won’t really get a feel for the execution of that idea until I hit ground.  For those who don’t know or remember, I was deployed to Iraq five years ago.  I am eager and curious to see what has changed since my last tour.  Even then we were “advising, training, assisting and equipping”  … so I am sure the progress is great.  The one thing I still can’t wrap my head around is in the nearly 8 years of our time in Iraq, how much we accomplished.  I mean, think about history … Germany, Korea, Kuwait still have permanent US posts after their respective wars ended … we will have conquered, overthrown, rebuilt, reconstructed and reformed a country in such a short time.  I truly believe that Iraq as an ally makes the US and the world safer.

Anyway, enough of my political commentary.  More pics coming … some more training.  Shooting in the VERY cold weather and I was fortunate enough to present some of our trainers with our unit coin and t-shirts.  One of the perks of being a commander!!  And of course … the food.  From a man who enjoys eating and sometimes devouring food … I think prison inmates eat better!  Enjoy!

Coming home with a “W” …


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Zinno playing with guns!! It was damn cold!

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Even my soldiers managed to crack a smile in the cold!

img 0190 BLOG: From The Front Lines With Zinno

I got present CPT Greene (left) with my unit coin for her hard work in helping us prepare for our deployment.

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And of course, the food ... it's just not very good!

Comments (7)
  1. ANNIE DUROSE says:


  2. That is some home cookin’!! Whoa

  3. Tammy Veney says:

    Hey Mark,miss seeing you come through that door. The food looks awful but “MAN UP”…….lol! Anyway keeping you in my prayers. Love you!

  4. KENN says:

    God speed Mark and thank you!

  5. April Everson says:

    Hi Mark, hope you and the soldiers are doing well.

    My prayers are with you as you continue to serve with gladness. I appreciate all that you do to keep our county safe.

    Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but JOY cometh in the MORNING.

    P.S Who’s the chef?? Yummy. 🙂

  6. Diane Lyn says:

    Looks like 5 star dinning, on the military plan for sure. YUM-O!

    Be safe and God bless.

  7. Swanie says:

    Going through your blogs Z, very cool but two things…

    1.) Cut Jersey some slack! ( iIwill get you some world famous Delorenzo’s of Trenton pizza upon your return)
    2.) Where the hell is my coin & t-shirt!!!!

    Stay well, talk to you soon,

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