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Rotary hears solder's experience in Iraq

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:00 pm

Today: Master Sergeant Kevin Mark Cook is here to tell us of his experiences in Alaska and Iraq, specifically, Mosel and Baghdad. He spent 16 months in Iraq as the first sergeant of Striker Brigade, part of the Surge. The young man is the son of Jerry Cook, probably the most famous of all the photographers who have ever worked in Lodi. The next stop for Sgt. Cook is Japan; he will be going there in September on a mission so secret I would have to kill you after I told you about it.

Mark Cook is making the Army his career and is a proud member of that service.

I just talked to Dale Edwards who is in El Aye at the Rotary International Convention. He is in luck; some English is still spoken there. We were on a cell phone connection that was so bad it sounded as though we were in the middle of a meeting just after they fixed the loudspeaker system.

President Jerry Evans is up at "the cabin" doing some brush clearing as a preventative measure to assure the place will still be there when the first snows fall. This has been one of the very worst fire seasons ever and summer won't be here until 3:59 p.m. on Saturday. (I am using a Mayan calendar which does not allow for Daylight Saving Time, so I may be off a bit.)

There are people in Iowa and there abouts who are sure Noah wasn't

exaggerating. Some whole counties are literally inundated, and in Noah's time, that was as far as the eye could see so the assumption it was worldwide seemed to be the truth.

I read on the Internet this morning the tomato salmonella infestation was because of global warming. I thought it was George Bush's fault, but what do I know?

We are going to have to get together on planning the Kick Out on the 26th. I'll tell ya one thing; I'm just glad I'm not Jerry Evans. There may be some unspoken hostility over fines and other past misdemeanors that fester in the minds of the Kickout Kommittee and lesser members so things could get physical and you have all heard how much Jerry enjoys mixing it up with the likes of us. It could get a little messy.

Jerry has enjoyed being president of this little club but he isn't all that excited about his last meeting as the High Mugwump. He learned some time ago that a big man in a small space isn't compatible with continued sanity. It would be a very good idea to not bring out the box used to carry Ted Molfino out of here years ago. He was a submarine officer who had no more fear of small places than a cat playing with an open paper bag. Jerry can't stand the confinement of an MRI tube, much less a wooden crate with self-tapping screws holding the lid so firmly as to be virtually air tight.

I don't know if Lodi has a certified psychiatrist, so it is better we just don't take the chance.

I would recommend a couple of things not only to Jerry, but to those of you who are apt to sit up front: Wear clothes that are either weather-proof or wash and wear. Protective headgear might be a viable option as well even though Jerry proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has a hard head during his stint as a law enforcement officer who spent time over-seeing the criminally inclined, not to mention the inebriated who were bent on mayhem. This brings up other equipment which I consider a wise choice, but optional: Elbow and knee pads, wrist and ankle braces, an approved helmet and a Kevlar vest.

If I ain't mistaken, that meeting will be held out at Phillips Farms…easier to clean up the potential mess, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

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