Dear Friends & Family,
I am very sorry for missing last week's update. I wasn't able to get it done over the weekend because 1SG Walter and I have been traveling, and then we have had another one of our internet blackouts for a couple days at the beginning of the week, so I just decided to just wait until the next update.
It has been another couple of hot and busy weeks here with temperatures above 115 degrees Fahrenheit during the day in the Jalalabad area and almost 100 in Kabul. The Pennsylvanians are all doing great. For instance, during our travels, we visited with MSG Ball at Camp Fayez. He has really done a lot of improvements at the camp, putting his stamp so much on it that we have taken to calling it "Ball-istan".
We celebrated two national holidays in the past two weeks. Our own Independence Day was rather low key, it was a busy day, but we still enjoyed BBQ and cheeseburgers for dinner. Yesterday was Bastille Day, the French Independence Day, and at lunch we enjoyed some special "fromage" and sausages; unfortunately, there was no wine...
For the past three days, those of us in Jalalabad have been enjoyed great meals courtesy of KBR. KBR is the civilian firm that provides life-support at many of the camps in Afghanistan, most notably at Camp Darulaman (remember the steak and lobster dinners?). Now they are up and running here
Two of our battalion-level mentoring teams are US Marines, and both are in the process of switching out with new Marine teams this month. We have really enjoyed working with them. When we first arrived, they had the experience and they were very willing to share their techniques and learnings with us. Although we will miss working with our comrades, we are glad that they get to go back to their families.
This coming week, we have a meeting with all of the kandak commanders and team leaders to review our operations thus far and to set goals for the remainder of the deployment.
I hope this note finds everyone enjoying their summer back home.
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
Team Leader/Senior Mentor
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)