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Happy Holidays from SSG Billy Massingale

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December 21st, 2008

White Christmas

December is quickly coming to a close and a new year is about to be rung in.  This month we have completed a few missions and believe me it is cold here!  This last week we have gotten a lot of snow.  Even with 22 inches of snow, the war still continues. I learned its very difficult to put snow chains on a Hummer.  Looks like we are going to have a white Christmas! 

Training with Germans

This month also we trained with our German counterparts.  They qualified as marksman and sharpshooters on our range using our weapons and my team qualified on theirs.  I shot the G36C and the MG4, I was the only one to shoot a 14 out of 14 on the MG4 as well.  I had to explain to the Germans that shooting just comes natural for a Southern boy:) There were 6 of us that earned the Gold "Schutzenschnur" expert marksmanship badge.  

Thinking of Home

    Our mission tempo will slow down for this week.  We still are alert and ready for anything, but this time of year is for reflection.  As disciplined as we are, most minds are wandering to home, family and friends.  In my mind, I'm thinking of all the Christmas lights around the Chattanooga area, especially at Rock City!   I'm thinking of all the good food Ill be missing out on.  I'm thinking of time with family Ill miss. 

   Its not a sad or depressing kind of thing-its more of just a heart felt longing.  It does make it a little easier knowing I get to take my Mid-tour leave here in a few weeks. 

Decorated for the holidays

 Our Christmas tree actually looks good, better than most of the ones around here if I don't say so myself:)   Our team room is decorated with the Christmas cards and pictures colored by several different Elementary school classes.  As well as all the snacks and goodies sent by everyone(thank you once again). 

 People come from all over the camp to grab some cheetos or hot chocolate.  Most say we have more and better items than the small PX here ha ha.  During the day while we are catching up on all our paperwork duties(the boring part of war) we listen to Christmas music or watch all the Christmas shows from "its a wonderful life" to  "the Home Alone saga".  Seriously, how could you lose the same kid two years in a row during Christmas and not have child services involved!
    I did get a little slice of home last night by getting to watch the Richmond/Montana game from Chattanooga on AFN.  By the way, the field looked good this year:)  Congrats to Richmond as well to win it all for the first time in their school history. 

A student's questions   

 Ill end this entry with a story.  All the first graders in the state of GA were asked to write a short essay on "If they could spend the day with an American Soldier".  I received a copy of the winning essay, a 1st grader from Boyton Elementary(name withheld because I didn't ask the parents for permission).  She asked questions like if we were afraid when we first started being a soldier?  Where are all the wars?  all good questions that I could answer.  Then she asked me questions that brought a tear to my eye because not only couldn't I answer them, but if I could maybe there would be no more war.  Those questions were "why do people have war?" and "Why cant people settle their differences?"  Sometimes the most complex things can be broken down into the simplest, but still have no answer.  I hope someday we as a people, nation and world can have no more war, and be able to settle differences without war.  But until then, Ill still be here.  Although I'm needed far away, my heart remains at home!


    I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a happy New Year.  Take care all and Ill see you soon! 

Serving with Pride
SSG Billy G Massingale  

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