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January 1, 2435

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

4th Fleet, 4th Fleet Security Forces (FSF)

Dear Dad,

Happy New Years to you both.  I hope that you and Mom have more fun plans to execute to ring in the new year.  Do either of you have a New Years resolution you are planning to try to stick to?  I never was much for those, but this year I think I am making a slight exception to the rule.  I am planning to read at least one book a week that is not a military manual or military-related in general.

I believe I have to read enough military rubbish during my day to day operations so why put more on myself.  Might make some exceptions for some memoirs though. There are a few that I heard were really good and some that would actually help me in my leadership role.  I will take all the help I can get in that regard.

So far, my team has been pretty fortunate.  We have come through all these hostilities relatively unscathed (knocks on wood), although things have been far from uninteresting.  We have had so many close calls that I can’t help but feel like our luck will run out soon. I need to stay ahead of it and keep doing anything I can to keep getting better.  Same goes for my team.

You always taught me to treat those under my command as I would if they were my children.  I have taken that quite literally and I see now why you always said that. I care about my men and I want to do whatever it takes to get them through this.

We had an interesting situation a couple days ago that could have turned disastrous.  We were in the middle of a recon operation and one of the Army’s combat patrols were way off course.  The Lieutenant in charge was some lazy scumbag that dumped all his responsibilities on his NCO and there was a miscommunication with their navigation.

We nearly ran into each other while searching for potential enemy outposts.  Fortunately, my team members are as good as they get. My point man was able to identify them as friendlies and we were able to contact Army headquarters and identify what was going on.  Turns out, the combat patrol was about two kilometers off course.

My team nearly lost all control over our noise discipline when we heard the company commander shouting at the Lieutenant over the comms.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that company commander got a talking to in regard to her radio etiquette. Enjoyable as it was, it was also not at a good time.  We ended up making contact with a GFI outpost a few hours later.

There were no casualties on either side during our initial engagement.  I didn’t want to take any chances with my team. The GFI had a really good defensive position and we couldn’t get an accurate count on their numbers.  I called in our Marine team for support but they are still hurting after the last engagement. We eventually called for an air strike and once the flyboys were done, we let the Army mop it up.

I am going to be keeping this one short.  We have a lot of work to do and the war isn’t going to take a break for the holidays.  If anything, the GFI is picking up the pace with their operations. They are growing desperate, which is not a good sign.  Our biggest fear is them to focus their attention on a civilian target.

So far, they haven’t hit as many civilian heavy locations as originally expected, but desperation can change that pretty easily.  We will just have to stay focussed ourselves and maintain vigilance.

Please give everyone my best and let Mom know that I am thinking about you both every day.  I love you with all my heart. Happy New Year!

Love,

Mitch

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