Bits & Pieces



An E-Mail From the Gulf

(To Mom & Dad dated 7/2/06)

 I made it to Camp Xxxxx, Kuwait safely. It was a very long trip, even with airplanes. I am beginning to transition into my position. I have learned that I was supposed to command a battalion of 303 which has now increased to 525. I picked up a direct support maintenance company and some other smaller units that do very important work here in the theater. I have several soldiers working on the change of responsibility inventories. I will have approximately 5 million dollars of equipment in my headquarters.

The temperature is around 115 degrees. It is increasing everyday. By mid July in should be 135 degrees. The wind blew pretty strongly yesterday, around 35 mph. It was hard to see 50 feet in front of you. It is like a snowstorm. You have to keep your mouth shut or you eat sand. Even if you do you can taste and feel the grit on your teeth. Your eyes feel like they have large pebbles in them. When you take a shower you find sand in places you never thought it good get. The sand piles up just like a snow storm. The wind is still blowing today but not quite as bad.

I am actually beginning to acclimatize. I drink a couple gallons of water every day. The trick is figuring out what time in the day to stop drinking water so that you can go to bed without having to run to the bathroom all night. A proper diet also helps. The mess hall has helped a lot with that. The food is superb. For some, too superb. Some will have to watch what they eat or how much or they will be on the weight control program. The mess hall is like eating at Furr's or something like that. Lots of food and lots of desserts (including ice cream, yea).

My group of 16 is beginning to settle in. We are finding our way around the post. There isn't a lot to do but still something to do in your limited off time. A gym, PX, community center, library, movie theater, open air theater, volleyball, basketball, and my favorite a running track. I go to work about 7:30 a.m. and quit about 6:00 p.m. I try to run in the evening after the sun goes down. The sun goes down very early here. It is dark by 7:30. But it comes up very early also. I haven't been able to beat the sun up yet.

We are heavily preparing for our main body to arrive. They won't be here until later in July. It will be really hot when they get here. Some struggled with the heat at Camp Shelby so they will surely struggle with it here.

Love to all,


LTC Erwin, Michael A., Kansas National Guard

 (Mike is the son of Darrel & Shirley Erwin of Wichita, KS)


Kirstin Lynn Dalseg, 28, and Augustine Zenon Veliz, 32, were married September 9, 2006 in Mount Vernon, Washington. The bride wore an ivory beaded dress with cathedral train and the groom wore a Neru jacketed black tuxedo with an ivory vest.

Kirstin and Augustine had ten couples attend them. The groomsmen were dressed in like tuxedos with plum vests. The matron of honor wore a periwinkle tea length gown and the bridesmaids wore aubergine gowns of varying lengths.

Kirstin chose to have her only two nieces be her flower girls.  Madeline, age two, walked down the aisle between her parents (Kirstin’s brother, Ryan and wife, Gina) as she was a little hesitant to do it on her own.  Leah, age four, on the other hand, was all business. She dropped her rose petals as if she was the only flower girl princess ever to do such a good job for the princess bride.  

Kirstin is the daughter of Ralph and Gwendolyn (Prater) Dalseg of Mount Vernon, Washington, and her grandparents are Tom & Ellen Prator of the same city. Kirsten is a sixth great-granddaughter of James Todd (1757-1814) and Margaret Erwin (1759-c.1825). She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Micro Biology, and works for Clinical Micro Stat Company based out of  Eugene, Oregon.

Augustine Zenon Veliz is the son of Lydia Rosant of Lynnwood, Washington and Valentine Veliz of Mabton, Washington. Augustine is employed as a machinist in Kirkland, Washington.

The couple will honeymoon at Disneyland of California and in Maui, Hawaii, and will make their home in Washington State.

                                                                                        Reported by Gwendolyn Dalseg


The Bits & Pieces column is intended to be a bulletin board for our extended family. The list of items on it is often short, not—it is suspected—because the list of family events was short, but because the Bagpiper editor was not informed of various family happenings. This newsletter is purely for the benefit of our extended family. It needs the participation of everyone to make it interesting and informative. Please...remember to inform your newsletter of births, deaths, graduations, marriages, special events, etc., etc.                                                                                                                               -Editor