Dear Family & Friends,
The season is definitely changing. Back in Darulaman, the nights get cool -- into the upper 40'sF -- and in the east, the mountain peaks received a dusting of snow one night this week.
Our brigade's counter-insurgency operations continue even as we begin the preparations to move the unit back to Darulaman starting in mid-October after the end of Ramadan. Once back, the brigade will go into a "recovery" period that will include leave for the ANA soldiers. We will also be finishing up our own leaves at the end of November because leave is not permitted during the last 60 days in country. Back in the state currently are LTC Whitney, SSG Kramer and SPC "Tato."
As you know, we passed our eighth month milestone this past week. Although we have not corresponded with them yet, we have already been notified about our replacememts, who recently arrived at Fort Riley for training. We expect them to arrive shortly before Christmas and to be operational in mid-January.
We will be leaving a much different brigade than the one we took over. Most of the brigade will be mentored by French advisors by that time, and our replacements will be augmenting them. The next group of French arrive at the end of October, and we are preparing for their arrival now.
As you no doubt saw on the news, there was a terrible suicide bombing in Kabul yesterday that killed around 30, mostly ANA. Fortunately, no one from our unit was involved in the blast, but our counterparts are obviously saddened by the number of casualties, and many of the officers knew people who were on the bus.
I am very happy to announce that donations totalling $1,533.33 to The Jakub Argonish Trust and $3,066.66 to The Ball Children Trust were made this past week. These are the combided totals of donations collected from service members here who worked with MSG Ball and SGT Argonish, as well as an additional $1,000 collected by the FRG.
This coming week, the main event for me will be rooting on the fighting Phils to get into the playoffs instead of the Mets!
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
Team Leader/Senior Mentor
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)