Dear Family & Friends,
I want to introduce someone new to the Family & Friends circle, Julie (edited to remove last name) from West Chester, PA. Julie adopted us after getting information about our team from a friend of one of my friends. She organized a bunch of great people to send us dozens and dozens of boxes of goodies. We have received so many boxes from Julie's campaign that we have been able to share them with our other US and French comrades too. (My personal favorites have been the boxes sent from the Tasty Kake bakery in Philly.) Welcome and many thanks to Julie!
I am back in cool (80's F), sunny Darulaman at the moment, and those of us here are really enjoying the weather. The east remains hot and especially humid, and the monsoon-style thunderstorms still roll through.
I came back for the relief of our French ETT team with a new team from France. Our new team is made up of soldiers from their 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade. These hardy men feel at home at 6,000 foot elevation here and in the surrounding mountains.
We are in the process of preparing for our ANA brigade's return to Darulaman. You may recall from our movement out to the East in the spring that this is a very involved process that it takes weeks to complete as we phase through the relief of each separate unit with their ETTs. Some of the locations are only accessible by air.
Our guys continue to rotate through leaves and LTC Judah Whitney and SPC "Tato" Maritato are en route back to their families. We are expecting LT "Yartzie" back soon and he will pay for teasing us by sending us pictures of himself drinking beer.
This coming week marks the end of our EIGHTH month in Afghanistan. Time seems to be marching along rapidly now, and there are already signs of Fall.
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
Team Leader/Senior Mentor
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)