BLOG: From The Front Lines With Zinno

Hello everyone!  Sorry it’s been so long but I have been busy.  I have gotten out a bunch as of late to see Iraq all over again, which has been exciting for me.  Just seeing what things look like 5 years later.  Some of it surprises me, but not much.  So many times I look around at places that I see, and I try to appreciate the internal beauty of what Iraq is … or was.  In the same respect, I try to imagine what certain places looked like before the war started and I think, “what did this place really look like?” and then I stop and realize that there were a lot of dirty, run-down places in this country either way … eh, call it was it is, there are a lot of crappy places here no matter what!  Regardless, I try to take a positive approach and look toward progress.  After all, that’s what is going to get us home.  At least the weather has cracked 90 degrees here, which I like!!  It’s great to get out in the early morning and go for a 5-mile run as the sun comes up over the horizon … I can actually feel at peace on my run, which is relaxing.  All in all, I am constantly reminded that things can always  be worse, so I take joy in the small pleasures here in Iraq.  Thanks again for everyone who checks in on me.  It makes my day!
Plenty of pics here for you to look at.  I promoted one of my soldiers, which is a great honor for me and a special day as he became a non-commissioned officer.  It’s kind of a big deal in the Army.  As I mentioned, I was able to get out and see some of the country.  The helicopter rides are nice.  So I took some photos from my “bird’s eye view” … the photos are of Baghdad and the surrounding areas.
While driving through some villages on the outskirts, we were warmly greeted by the kids in the town.  They were cheering and waving as we came through.  The kids ran in the streets and followed us the whole way.  Many of the adults came out to wave as well.  On another mission, we were able to give school supplies and toys to Iraqi kids.  One of them walked up to me and tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned around and he said in English, “I need a watch!” … I replied, “I don’t have a watch.”  He jumped right back, “Give me your pen!” … I cracked up laughing … and gave him my pen.  Seemed like a huge downgrade for him, but I saw value in the deal! HAHA! It was a good time!!
I hope to continue to hear from everyone!!!  I pray that I will be home real soon!
Coming home with a “W” …
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I got to promote specialist Gray to Sergeant Gray … it was a special day for him and one of the honors of being a commander.
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An aerial view of Baghdad.
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More of Baghdad
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Lovely, right?
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The kids in this small village were so excited to see us!

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The kids followed us throughout the entire village.

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I was making friends with some of the Iraqi security guards outside the gates of one of our compounds.
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We passed out toys and school supplies to Iraqi children.
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This was the banner from my going away party at the Greene Turtle. It is now hanging in my office. Everyone who comes in asks about it! Thanks to 1057 The Fan!


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