September 7 – Spc. Nicki Fellenzer


It’s amazing to see people come together under the worst of circumstances.  We’ve been in a holding pattern on the same deserted air strip where we slept last night.  It’s hot.  We haven’t had a shower since the night of September 5, when we stopped at England Air Field.  We’re sticky.  We’re dirty.  We’ve been eaten alive by bugs.  But for some reason it’s not bothering us.


It’s not bothering the members of the 229th MP Company, the 192nd Security Forces Squadron and the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron either.  Despite the heat and lack of shower facilities, the Soldiers and Airmen are keeping their mood light.  They’re supporting one another.  They’re trying to help each other out.  Quite often I hear them ask one another if they need anything…  ice, water, MREs…  “Do you need any extras?”


I’ve seen soldiers get cranky and short-tempered in conditions much better than these, but not these guys.  They’re laughing.  They’re cheerful.  And they can’t wait to begin their mission.


I think this is the toughest part of our journey so far – just sitting around and waiting in the sweltering heat.  And yet, I don’t see a drop in morale, nor do I see tempers running raw.  What I do see is a team coming together and working to keep one another sane and smiling. 


These are Virginia National Guardsmen at their best – doing exactly what they enlisted to do:  help their fellow Americans. 


Members of the 192nd Security Forces Squadron and the 203rd RED HORSE

Squadron join the 229th Military Police Company in formation before

beginning their journey to New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Spc. Nicki

Fellenzer, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)