My trip to Iraq with TASK FORCE TARAWA

(This report is from my brother Shane Pitzer)

Hello Friends,

I'm going to share some of my experiences with 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2MEB, designated TASK FORCE TARAWA during Operation Iraqi Freedom) since the beginning of the year, for those of you who are interested.

For the sake of those not too familiar with me, I'll tell you I'm from Montana, and joined the Marines in 1979, thinkin' it was a good place for me to learn how to fight, shoot guns a lot, and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Well, after 24 years I still haven't figured it out (grin)... I'm an artilleryman, MOS 0861, Fire Support Man. I have somehow made it to the rank of E9, Master Gunnery Sergeant ("Master Guns" to the men) and I am the Fire Support Chief for 2MEB, stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC.

I'll put a continuing series of posts under this thread in a somewhat chronological order of events as they have happened since back in early January this year.

I have a feeling it might get a bit long, so I will not try to put everything into one post. But, feel free to put your own replies in this thread and we can just keep it sort of ongoing for a few days as usually happens. I have another week before getting home, so I will attempt to pretty much tell my story between now and going ashore on the 28th.

Here are a few dates to set a framework of the chronology. I will follow-on by filling it in with details on the subsequent postings.

03 Jan - 2MEB received deployment order
11 Jan - Boarded USS Kearsarge in Norfolk, Va.
15 Jan - Onload complete, headed east 15 Feb - Arrived in Persian Gulf
18 Feb - Offload complete in Kuwait
20 Mar - Invaded Iraq
07 May - Left Iraq, embarked back on USS Kearsarge
28 Jun - Offload Camp Lejeune

I'm no literary genius, so bear with me a little. I will do my best to keep it interesting. I've got a lot of stuff to share that usually comes out pretty good in person, over a beer or something.

(Continue to PART I)

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