Family and Friends Update:
Well, gang, we are approaching the half-way point this week -- July 28th is the six month mark!
This has been a relatively quiet week for us, while there seems to be a lot of news about the country. The latest item today was about the death of the old king. King Zahir was 92 years old and had returned to Afghanistan from almost a 30-year exile after the Karzai government was established. The jirga recognized him as the Father of the Country, but little else -- I imagine to his disappointment.
As a unit, we have a couple of indirect connections to him. I know that you have seen the pictures of the Queen's Palace which looms over Camp Darulaman, the ruins of the King's Palace is about 3/4 of a mile from that and also visible from Darulaman. Out in the east, we have ANA and Marine ETTs in an outpost that used to be the old royal hunting lodge. In that area of Nuristan, he used to hunt deer, jackal and wolves from what I have been told.
His funeral will be held tomorrow and Tuesday and Wednesday will be national holidays. Some of the ANA soldiers at Darulaman will be helping with security in the Kabul area, but we are not expecting any trouble really. The King was not controversial, and his reign was the last period of peace in the country.
In Jalalabad this week, the temperatures have only reached 100F which believe it or not, has been a welcome relief from the 120F degree temperatures of the preceding weeks. Kabul is practically frigid with temperatures in the 80s.
We are helping the second set of our Marines to be replaced, so soon both of our USMC ETT teams will be new. The first group has been working out great, and we expect the same from our new group. Working with the Marines has been a real pleasure because they are very professional. I think we must be doing things right because we have garnered their respect as well.
This coming week should be business as usual for the teams. We offer birthday wishes to SPC Gerrity (25th) and LT Mitchell (26th) this week, and a happy leave for SGT Argonish.
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
Team Leader/Senior Mentor
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)