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” …
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.
An aerial view of Baghdad.
More of Baghdad
Lovely, right?

The kids in this small village were so excited to see us!

The kids followed us throughout the entire village.

I was making friends with some of the Iraqi security guards outside the gates of one of our compounds.
We passed out toys and school supplies to Iraqi children.

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!

Comments (13)
  1. ANNIE DUROSE says:



  2. Mom says:

    If someone would have told me 30 years ago I would see my son standing with a rifle (larger than life itself) in his hand I would have told them they were crazy…not my son. But there you are and I am so proud of your mission and all you have become. Keep up the good work and come home quickly. We all miss you tremendously and their is work to be done here also….so get safely and quickly. Love you with all my heart, Mom

  3. Jaosn says:

    You the man Zinno. Keep up the good work. Cant wait till you’re back.

  4. flynn says:

    miss you buddy, stay safe.. GO SOX!

  5. Jackie Blue says:

    Stay focused ,stay cool,stay strong

  6. Dale Andersen says:

    stay safe and thanks for your service

  7. Penny Socha says:

    God bless you. I know what your Mom is going through. My son was in the first Gulf War. I know it wasn’t fun for him and it was hell for me. Thank God he made it back safe and sound. Keep safe and you should be very proud of yourself.

  8. Amanda Plaine says:

    god bless Zinno stay safe, come home quickly & thank you again for your service & everyone over there service. bring back that W

  9. dennis says:

    Great to see you so full of spirit. I continue to pray for you and all the soldiers over there. Thanks for the gift you sent the house. I am back in Japan but Jada really appreciated it. Take care Zinno.

  10. Cathie says:

    Your Mom is right. Your whole family misses you and it isn’t the same without you here. We are all looking forward to the day you come home to us safely. We love you more than words!!!!!!!! Cathie

  11. Cinthia says:

    You’re doing an awesome work. God bless you for it and provide you with a strong hedge of protection. The Fan isn’t the same without you! Miss you, come back soon!

  12. Steve says:


    Thanks for your service to our country. Get back soon, because the O’s just won their first game and you need to be here before the World Series starts! Take care, Steve G.

  13. Mike says:


    Packages were mailed Monday from Virginia.. Hope they come in handy..

    Mike O’B.

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