Friday, May 1, 2009

Antonio

UPDATE
It seems that Antonio was not happy with the picture I chose of him (he alludes to it as "a freak").  He sends the following non-freakish photos which I am posting.  But Army bad-ass or not, I will not be intimidated into removing the original!

Antonio & Rafa
Antonio as an alien (but not a freak)
Antonio looking very handsome
the original FREAK photo

Last night an e-mail popped into my inbox from my dear cousin Antonio in which he announced that his deployment to Iraq will begin this Sunday, May 3rd.

He'll start off with a couple of weeks in Kuwait before heading to the southeastern region of Iraq as a Combat Engineer Platoon Leader. He'll be in charge of 27 soldiers and for now I'll consider them to be the 27 luckiest soldiers for having drawn such an awesome leader!! (I say "for now" because his older brother, primo Rafael, will be heading to Iraq shortly as well and he'll have some competition then...)

His deployment will last 12 months and even though I don't yet know the exact date when his deployment will end, I've included a counter on the sidebar which will tick off 365 days from midnight May 3rd. If we get an exact date sometime down the line, I'll adjust the countdown. And I'll also try to find a better looking counter, but for now this will do.

While in Iraq, Antonio's physical mailing address will be:

Antonio Pazos (no rank please)
E CO, 4-6 INF, 4BCT, 1AD
FOB Garry Owen
APO, AE 09331

He says that pretty much everything is fair game in the mail (using the common sense rule...). It will take about 3 weeks for packages to arrive since they're not close to any major city, so plan accordingly (ie, no bananas). His Soldiers say nicotine is a must since Iraqi cigarrettes are horrible. He'll be giving most of the stuff he gets to his Soldiers anyways, so anyone that wants to send along a little something, it will definitely be much appreciated!

He should have access to internet, so he'll be updating on Facebook and checking e-mail (antonio.a.pazos@us.army.mil). And of course, when we receive exciting news, we'll be posting it here at Radar Love.

Antonio, whenever we see each other we always say "I love you" to one another repeatedly, which started some years back when we were teasing your mom who finishes all her sentences with "I love you." But let me be very clear. I DO love you!! I am bursting with pride to call you my primo and can not wait until you're back so that we can get together, share stories and so that you can finally meet little Rafa in person.

You'll be hearing plenty from us! Be safe, be happy and know that we love you lots!!



Love,
Titi and Radar

13 comments:

The Science Pundit said...

Very appropriate outfit! :-)

Tia Sara said...

Good Luck Antonio! And by the way, you do not look like a freek. Besos de tu
Tia Sara

The Science Pundit said...

Now Antonio and Rafas (Felipe & Darwin) have matching outfits. :-)


ps-- @ Tia Sara
I love the new thumbnail image.

Radar's Mom said...

@ Tia Sara

Ditto on the SP's compliment re: the thumbnail... don't know why, but it reminds me of Mamina and her batas!

Abuela said...

Buena Suerte, Antonio. Let us all know what you need. Tia Christena

Lori said...

Talk about looking Amy bad-ass, that last picture of Radar is a hoot!

marymartha said...

Nice piece on Antonio. Also, Radar is better than cute in those pictures.

Hugs from Tía Mary Martha

Marco said...

So wow, Antonio left yesterday huh? Well good luck Antonio babe, we're already real proud! Thanks for all the contact info Titi. Does anyone have any updates on when Vivi, Rafa & kids are moving to the Washington area?

TIOS ,,,MIGUEL,,,BARACK said...

I LIKE THE CARD, RADAR MAKE FOR ANTONIO...
BUENA SUERTE ANTONIO, TE EXTRANAREMOS MUCHO,,TU Y RAFA, MUY VALIENTES DEDICANDOSE A ESA JORNADA,, FUERTE ABRAZO.. TE QUEREMOS Y DESEAMOS LO MEJOR PARA TI... UN BESOTE
TIA ANGELA,TIO TRIBI,,PRIMO MIGUEL.

TIOS ,,,MIGUEL,,,BARACK said...

WE LIKE THE CARD, RADAR MAKE FOR ANTONIO...
BUENA SUERTE ANTONIO, TE EXTRANAREMOS MUCHO,,TU Y RAFA, MUY VALIENTES DEDICANDOSE A ESA JORNADA,, FUERTE ABRAZO.. TE QUEREMOS Y DESEAMOS LO MEJOR PARA TI... UN BESOTE
TIA ANGELA,TIO TRIBI,,PRIMO MIGUEL.

TIOS ,,,MIGUEL,,,BARACK said...

ANTONIO:
BUENA SUERTE, CUIDATE MUCHO; DESEAMOS LO MEJOR PARA TI, Y ESPERAMOS VERTE PRONTO DE NUEVO.
UN ABRAZOTE, QUIEBRAHUESOS.
TIO TRIBI
TIA ANGELA
MIGUEL ANGEL

Antonio said...

Hey everybody, I'm all settled into my new FOB (Forward Operations Base... army slang). It's pretty bare, for example, we just got actual trailer showers a day ago after a year and a half of ocupation in this area. Before that, it used to be gravity pumped combat showers; pretty disgusting. At least they do have porta-potties. Our initial brief several months ago said we were going to have to burn our own shit once a week.
The area itself is extremely rural. There are some villages around here that had never seen american forces in the years we've been in Iraq. Trash everywhere, the place is a big dumpster pretty much. Kinda reminds me of some streets in small towns in Venezuela, except for the man-dresses :-)
The address I gave in my first email is the correct one, so please send away. Mail comes once every blue moon, since it either has to fly on a weekly C-130 flight or in the resupply convoy they send from the South every week.
Either way, that's about it for now.
At least we got internet. phew!
Love,
Antonio

The Science Pundit said...

Wow Antonio, that does sound a lot better than what you thought you were in for (poop pyres?). I still bet that you're going to really love it when you finally get back home and use a real bathroom. :-)


ps--Was that a subtle hint to send air freshener? ;-)