BLOG: From The Front Lines With Zinno

Hello all of my friends!  I can’t tell you how much I miss you all!  Things in Baghdad are starting to heat up, in more ways than one!  It is already 100 degrees here in Iraq.  I don’t mind … I like the heat.  Yes, even this heat.  On the other side, the “heating up” is figurative as we are still continuing to get mortared on a regular basis.  We have an area of shops and eateries here on the post that is run by the Iraqis … for my Baltimore friends, it is similar to Power Plant Live. There is sometimes live music from Soldiers and many of the hookah bars will play music as well.  It’s can be a popular spot for Soldiers and contractors to hang out.  It was hit with a rocket one evening.  A few of the Iraqi civilians were injured, but thankfully no one was seriously hurt or killed.  Fortunately, the rocket hit at a time when no one was really there.

We have had some high profile visitors here … including the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates.  He came on his FINAL tour of Iraq before he steps down from his position.  He talked with us for about an hour and took questions from the Soldiers.  It’s always nice to hear first-hand what our leaders are saying and doing, as well what they are working on.  For all of us, it’s when are we going home.  In the entourage with the SECDEF, was CBS’s Katie Couric.  I couldn’t resist asking for a picture!!! I did tell her I was a talk show host in Baltimore … so maybe she will remember me down the road! HAHA!

I got a chance to do another promotion!  But this time is it was for my First Lieutenant who got promoted to Captain.  It was a big day for him and honored that he chose me to be the one to promote him.  I can remember when I finally became a captain … it was a day that I thought would never come.  We had a huge cookout afterwards and got to relax a little bit.

I am still able to travel a lot.  Unlike last tour where I drove EVERYWHERE … this time I am usually taking a helicopter.  Blackhawk helicopters are pretty bad-ass!!!! Would be nice to have one of my own … as soon as I hit lotto.  They only cost about $34 million!!! HAHA!

I am glad that spring is coming to all of you!  I hope you are all going outside as often as possible and enjoying the freedoms of America.  It’s things that I miss dearly, but I take happiness in my friends and loved ones who get the opportunity to do so.  Just because we have to be here to do a job, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of freedom!  And don’t feel bad about it either … just remember the sacrifices of many as you do it.  I long for the day when we can all be back in America together celebrating our reunion.  Until that day comes, I thank you all for your thoughts and prayers … and your constant e-mails, messages and texts!  They keep me going!
Coming home with a “W” …


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As Nelly once said, "Its getting hot in here ..."

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The hole left in the building from the rocket attack. The next day they were already starting to fix the building.

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The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates.

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Katie Couric and Zinno ... maybe the next new talk show tandem???

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The pinning of Captain Kurt Rauschenberg.

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The promotion certificate signed by the Secretary of the Army.

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My next mode of transportation ... nice, right?

  • Bob Weber

    really awesome to hear from safe

  • annie durose

    i am so proud of you. love annied

  • Mary Anne

    Spring here is super beautiful, especially the wonderful smells of sweetness in the air! I think about the US soldiers abroad often, thank you for all you do to keep us safe and hope you come home soon. Stay Cool…

  • John Baldwin

    God bless, Mark! Thanks for your courage in serving for our freedoms!

  • Michael Meeker

    Hey Zinno…. I used to listen to you and Cunningham everyday. Ive never been much for the “talk show and comment forum.” Ive always believed that you should take what you can from it and leave it at that. But coming from a family where both my grandfathers are vets I figured I would tell you, among the thousands of others, that we all hope for the “W” and a safe return for you, So that being said, if they do make an extra medium bullet proof vest…. please post pics. We would all love to see it. Be safe brother…

  • Melissa Locascio

    Glad to see you are thinking positive!!! Hang in there! It is cold here so I could use 100 degrees right now! Can’t wait to see you Mark!

  • bmoregyrl

    Thank you for what you are doing over there and come home safe. I hope to hear you again on 105.7 when you are done with your tour. Be safe and god bless you and all of our brave soldiers.

  • Ashley Dlugokeski

    It’s so wonderful to hear your positivity and up beat attitude Zinno! You could be complaining and talking about how horrible things are but you are making the best of your situation and I admire you for that! Continue to stay safe (that goes to all of the men and women fighting for our country) and I cannot wait until you are home again. I always forget that you come on the Bob Haney show so when I hear your voice it brightens up my day :) Looking forward to your next blog!!

  • Tim Akers

    Hang in there in Zinno, we’re proud of you and miss you dude. Be safe.

  • Lisa Kittrell

    Good afternoon. As alway’s it’s good to know you’re doing alright. We miss you
    be safe. God bless all of you. We love you Mark!!!

  • BmoreLovesYA

    you the man zinno, god bless you and your comrades!! mrs. couric is one lucky lady.

  • Chris

    Thanks Z for your service! be safe,you lucky dog you,Katie Couric is so hot!!

  • Jimmy & Ann Marie Citarella

    We love your blogs! Jimmysaid that you should sleep with a hard hat on as well as a cup. Miss you lots and love you as big as the sky!

  • williejoe

    Zinno & Couric together? You can bet your sweet a$$ both of them were out of harms way & safer than a baby in Mother’s arms. This is a total fabrication of what these so called celebrities experience in a uniform. He probably will never see a bullet shot at his a$$ but all the while, hundreds of poor no name everyday gus & gals are dogging mines & bullets.

    • Zinno

      williejoe –

      It’s Zinno. I will respond first hand to your comment. Every Soldier on my base is out of harm’s way … to a point. Except the occasional rocket or mortar attack that we are all susceptible to. I don’t know what you mean by “celebrity.” I certainly never joined the military to promote my fame or my status. I was in the Army long before I was ever a “celebrity” … which I actually laugh at, because I don’t consider myself one. I am fortunate enough to work in a great city with great fans who listen to the station I work for. And I thank them wholeheartedly for their support of me on my deployment.

      And as “John” stated, my last deployment I saw enough combat and bullets to last a lifetime. If you would like to see my military personnel file, I will gladly make it public record for you and all to see. I have nothing to hide.

      Lastly, to answer your assertion that “poor no name everyday gus & gals are dogging mines & bullets” … 1) I assume you mean dodging and not “dogging” 2) you clearly don’t understand how this war is fought. No one is dodging mines and bullets. This isn’t WWII where it’s bad guys on one side and good guys on the other. Our enemy has no name, no face and no uniform. They hide in the shadows and in a most cowardly fashion, use any means necessary to attack us and run.

      I question whether you ever put on a military service uniform. If you did, I thank you for your service, but question your anger towards me … a brother in arms of yours. My blogs aren’t an attempt to glorify my work, especially not over those who serve alongside me. They are to keep the listners of my program informed and let them see a side of Soldiers that they wouldn’t normally see through the news. And I am grateful to my station for allowing me the opportunity to do that.

      Anytime you want to discuss this with me “williejoe” … I am here. My email is

  • Sharon

    God Bless you Zinno! Stay safe!

  • John


    Not sure what you are getting at. I served with Mark at Ft. Hood before 9/11 and before he was what you call a “celebrity”. He definately didn’t just recently join the Army. I’m also sure you were aware this is his second deployment and in his first deployment to Iraq in 2005 he was running convoys with Special Forces Command. I hope one day you can leave your bitterness behind.

    Stay safe, Mark!


    CPT J. Harrison

  • John Bouse

    May God keep you safe ’til you come home to you friends in Balwmer.

    Miss hearng you and Bruce “CHATING” together everday.

    Be safe my friend, and thanks.

  • tammy veney

    So happy to hear from you!!! You look handsome as ever. As always keeping you and the troops in prayer. Love you and God Bless!!

  • mark's little sis

    those are some pretty big assumptions you are making…..and you know what they say when you assume……!!!

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