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Thursday, February 17

I was just writing some friends in response to an electronic Birthday Card they sent me and thought I'd thank all of you publicly on my Blog.

It's been wonderful to hear from you throughout my deployment and particularly on my birthday. What's a birthday like in Afghanistan, you might ask? Well. It's starts at about 6 a.m., you get a cold shave and get dressed in the dark so you don't wake up your roommates. Then you breeze through the chow hall to grab some orange juice, cereal, and milk to eat while you check email in the office. At seven you head out to the Afghan Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC) to fire your weapon on a freezing cold range. Nevertheless, it's always fun to launch bullets down range. After you get back to the office and check in with your coworkers you change into PT clothes and go to the gym. You run on a treadmill for about 45 minutes and then lift some weights. Then you head back to your room and take a shower (hurray-- there was warm water for your birthday shower!). Then you go to the chow hall and eat Cajun meatloaf, chicken nuggets, pork and beans, and some radishes. After chow you walk back to the office to push some public affairs projects along, and feel really good and refreshed about your workout, warm shower, and the sunny but crisp weather. A card from your coworkers is sitting on your desk and they say they're going to buy you a cup of coffee later in the afternoon. My fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines here are wonderful people and make the year pass easier. So does the support of friends and family back home. We didn't get any mail for over two weeks because of the bad weather, but it started flowing two days ago and I have received over 25 birthday cards! Thanks a million.

Sincerely,

Rick

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