Dear Family & Friends,
Tonight I am up at Camp Faez with the guys from the 5th Kandak team. Everyone seems to be doing well, and we enjoyed a delicious "Jung-oulash" stew together under the patio.
The start of our redeployment from the Eastern Zone back to Darulaman is only weeks away. Preparations continue daily and our relief -- ANA and ETT -- are wrapping up a reconnaissance in our area right now.
There is some bad news about one of our friends and comrades, 1LT Victor Yartz. He has been evacuated to Landstuhl Army Hospital in Germany due to a non-combat related medical issue which will probably not allow him to complete his tour with the team. "Yartzie" (yes, I think everyone on the team has a nickname) is our S6 -- Communications Officer -- which is very specialized and simply invaluable for what we do. More importantly, he has been a valued member of the team due to his hard work, great attitude and sharp wit -- some of the more memorable funny lines from this mission can be attributed to Yartzie.
When we found out that he was being evacuated a couple days ago, many of the guys sent him notes wishing him well, and he has been getting back with us throughout the day today. He sounds well and the prognosis is good because his condition was discovered soon enough. We wish Yartzie and Valerie the best on the road to a speedy recovery!
This coming week we will continue to prepare for the hand-over and start planning for the "recovery" period that comes after the return of the units to Darulaman. Ramadan ends this coming weekend, and Friday through Sunday are the Eid holidays -- the post-fasting period celebration. This Tuesday is also the "Night of Power" when Muslims look to the night sky to gain strength for the coming year's struggles.
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
Team Leader/Senior Mentor
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)