On Saturday we ignored the weather and went to Smithville, NJ. It's a small colonial town just a few minutes north of Absecon. We walked around the lake and watched the ducks. My wonderful niece, Nicole, and nephew, Timothy stopped long enough to get their photos taken. Aren't they adorable? Tim was making quite the scowl, but don't be scared he's generally rather friendly. Nicole, on the other hand showed off her Captain skills by masterfully maneuvering a remote controlled boat around various obstacles (including a huge lighthouse). That girl has talent!
Sunday was another cool (and by cool I mean freezing cold) day. We made the most of it by driving around a wildlife refuge spotting various waterfowl and cracking jokes on the two-way radio that ensured constant communication between my car and the one carrying most of the Foster family. On Sunday evening I enjoyed a delicious meal (big enough for a small army) prepared by Chef Pate' (who just happened to celebrate her birthday on 5 March). Below is a pic of Super Alex and my brother-in-law David. We have 8 weeks left on the baby countdown. Things are still going great. I have been meeting with my midwives every two weeks. The baby is positioned perfectly (if you consider living on your head so you can kick Mom's ribs perfect!).
I also wanted to share a photo with everyone. The Schwartz boys just love their girlfriends. When George was in Kosovo I received photos of him holding hands with numerous (4 foot tall) blondes and brunettes. Most of them were from the school in the nearby town the his unit had "adopted." He just loved his girls! So, he has been in Afghanistan a few weeks and he has already started posing with lovely ladies.....The ladies are actually French soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. They are in the infantry, an MOS that is restricted in the US Army to males only. So when he saw the "chicks with big guns" he was in love....instantly. Ahhh....boys...
Here is the latest update from George.
Dear Family & Friends,
It seemed like only yesterday that it was Groundhog Day--the first month has flown by. Daily operations continue, and we have all been very busy. I am happy to say that the Pennsylvania Guardsmen are having a noticeable impact on our ANA Brigade. Our small team has been operating in three key areas, and I can see improvements every where.
Fortunately, the weather was rather good this week. Yesterday the air was perfectly clear, an we had the best view of distant Kabul that we have had yet. (Usually it is covered in smog, like LA, because of all of the traffic and the wood stoves.) The lights of the city were especially beautiful last night, and they had electricity for much of the night!
The weather was good again today, and some of the team members pitched in for a "Pennsylvania barn raising" to complete our new maintenance building. It was also good enough for our KBR (contract) mess hall to grill out steaks for our dinner tonight.
This coming week will be much like this one, although we do have some of the unit out for a joint operation between the ANA and the French Battle Group.Best Regards, GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)