Sunday, May 21, 2006

Update on My Cousin In Iraq

Got a nice e-mail from my Aunt today about my cousin and how he is doing. He's doing fine in Iraq. Without divulging too much, here is a brief summary:

They are continuing to establish a positive relationship with the locals. Watching CNN one would think that everyone there hates them, but it isn’t the case.

He has had nothing but good things to say about his troops. "When I volunteered to deploy with a reserve battalion, I never dreamed that I would end up with such a solid group of men…It’s amazing and inspiring to me, especially since many of these guys dropped everything in their life to volunteer for this". He continues by saying that having older, more experienced Marines really pays off on a daily basis over there thanks to great pre-deployment training, and the ability to learn quickly, they have become effective.

He talks about the weather over there: Temperatures are over 100 degrees now. In his first month there, he described some thunderstorms they had when it rained so much at least half the streets in the town were under a foot of water. His first sand storm "came in fast from the northwest and was an immense mountain of sand. A bunch of us were outside watching it. The storm must have been moving a mile a minute because it quickly came upon them. The entire sky became a kind of hazy orange, a color that you couldn’t possibly think would occur in nature".
"Even when the wind blows, it has trouble getting through the 80 pounds of gear they wear. He says that no one complains about the gear, however, especially the armor. It’s hard on the knees and back, though".

In closing, he's homesick but since he’s getting into a routine over there, time is passing more quickly. He loves all the Motomail we send. I update him mostly on the Redskins, his favorite team.

Please keep every service man and woman in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world in your prayers daily. Thanks.

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