Hey everyone!  Things continue to push along nicely here in Baghdad.  Fortunately, the amount of “action” in the Baghdad area has quelled quite a bit.  Still getting mortars and rockets fired our way pretty regularly … but all you have to do for those is DUCK! 😉

There was a “Day of Rage” here on February 25th.  The U.S. called it the “Day of Organized Demonstrations” (gotta love the spin) … the Iraqis planned it to peacefully protest the government corruption.  The definition of “peaceful” here is 8 dead and over 200 wounded.  Unfortunate … it seems the whole Middle East is in a state of upheaval.  It is a double-edge sword.  Places like Libya and Egypt are all in chaos in the name of democracy … and that is a GREAT thing!  Unfortunately, when you are dealing with scarce loyalties and violence speaks louder than anything else, civil unrest is never good.

I am learning a lot about loyalty while I am here.  It’s only been a month and every fiber of my being wants to be back home already, close to the things that I care about and the people and the comforts I love.  But my loyalty to my mission and my men keeps me focused.  It is an internal struggle, but one that I am willing to deal with.

Life is pretty good here all things considered.  I spend most of my free time in the gym.  Shocker there, huh?  Believe it or not, I have been to the gym three times in one day … hey, I got kill all 24 hours in one day! HAHA!  I have gotten a chance to finally see some of the city and some of the sites.  There are new businesses all over the bases here.  A sign that things are good for the economy and a positive step for the future.  Some of the shops made me laugh.  There was one that actually sold women’s lingerie!!  Like there is a need for THAT here!!!!!!

Here’s a crazy story.  During my last deployment I stood up and trained an entire Iraqi army unit.  It was one of my greatest achievements in my military career.  During the process, I invented the unit patch for that unit.  I have carried that patch in my uniform since the day I left Iraq the last time.  While I was out looking at some of the stores, they were selling all sorts of patches in the store … and wouldn’t you know it, the patch I invented was for sale!!!! I guess that means my work 5 years later is still going strong!  It was weird, I was kinda pissed that they stole my patch, but kinda proud to see that the symbol still was alive.  Life is amazing sometimes.

Enjoy the photos folks!

Coming home with a W …


img00330 20110305 1512 From The Front Lines With Zinno

Some of the shops in Baghdad. The culture is still impressive.

img00329 20110305 1511 From The Front Lines With Zinno

A fountain in a gallery area.

img00331 20110305 1529 From The Front Lines With Zinno

The patches. The one I made is on the right. The one in the shop is on the left.

img00323 20110222 2100 From The Front Lines With Zinno

They sell Ed Hardy in Iraq ... and I thought the guys in the US who wore those were goofs! HAHA!

img00327 20110305 0712 From The Front Lines With Zinno

My Lieutenant, Kurt, and me before we headed out on our convoy.

sandy day at liberty mar 3 2011 From The Front Lines With Zinno

Our first sandstorm of the deployment. It's crazy to be in one!

Comments (13)
  1. Gary Stein says:

    The guy to your right (our left) in the picture looks like Pete Collier…Miss you man…come home!

  2. ANNIE DUROSE says:


  3. Debbie Albertson says:

    Thanks so much for sharing with us Mark. I would sure love to buy a patch you created if that is possible. I am still waiting for your address to send a care package my friend! Stay safe… And may you feel the kisses of all your loved ones upon your cute little cheek when you close your eyes at night : ). ❤

  4. Sharon says:

    Be safe, Mark. We are all praying for you, and hoping for a safe, fast return home!

  5. Stephen Burke says:

    be safe

  6. Monica Kushner says:

    Love hearing from you Zinno, miss you on the air. Get back so we can have you back. Monica Kushner

  7. Mom says:

    Be safe my son and thanks for sharing with all of us. You know we all love you very much and miss you as much as you miss us. Keep smiling and good things are waiting for you when you get home. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice and I am sure you will be rewarded for this in many special ways. Love you very much!

  8. Denny Yarborough says:

    Praying for your safe return, stay strong!
    Peace and blessings

  9. Jason Kidd says:

    Still need to send some dance music over there! Will get your address from Ann. Stay safe dude!

  10. kim Jackson says:

    Looking forward to your safe return home!!!!
    Protection, Peace and Blessings to you Mark!!!!

  11. kenny lockerman says:

    Attention on deck there is an officer present. thought you would love that. Well Major there’s a void that you need to fill. Why? Because we miss you in our everyday life.Bruce has went to doing saturdays and where are you to take up the slack. Hey look don’t get to relaxed over there. that might be what they want .stay alert and unhurt and remember to change your routines don’t do things the same time everyday. iknow i know your a major and you know this. just cover your 6 buddy. the head man doesn’t know everything. i was in once also.i just want you to get back.

  12. Your Little Sis says:

    “Did you ever know that you’re my hero? You’re everything I wish I could be!”

  13. curt Johnson says:

    thanks mark for your sacrifice to see your mom comment on this brought tears to my eyes we all miss you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts be safe and come home

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