Information on Steve
Steve is Stateside!

Last updated on Sunday, March 25, 2007

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2nd Combat Engineer Battalion

Steve's latest plans call for a late October deployment to Okinawa.
After no contact for over a week, Steve called at 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday May 28th.  He was already in Germany awaiting the flight that would return him to North Carolina!

Steve's first order of business was to "get connected."  He has a cell phone (different number than before) and his broadband connection should be up shortly.

Unfortunately, his 15 day leave to come home has not worked out too well.  His only immediate option would have placed him home during a week when Kim & I would be on yet another dive vacation.  Current plans are for Steve to be home the first two weeks of July with the "Mother of All Parties" to be held on Saturday, July 12th.

Thank you to all that have offered so much support to our family.

The Steve Sighting???
The Answer is NO... It's Not Him
Cartoons I sent Steve
Check These Slide Shows
 Pretty good...even better if you turn up the sound!
Steve's Picture Gallery
Read Carl Prine's Special Reports
Be sure to listen to Carl's interview via Satellite Phone from Baghdad.  Click on "Latest Audio Interview" at the above link.
Read Diane Allen's "Dispatches from the Desert"
Be sure to read Diane's wrap-up article and  pictures, published Saturday, April 19th
They are EXCELLENT!!!
Information on Care Packages Information on Steve's Unit in Iraq

Last contact with Steve-o

Steve called this morning (May 6) and told me that the 1st CEB and the 2nd CEB have (or will very shortly) part ways.  The 1st will soon board a ship for the return voyage to Camp Pendelton.  Sounds like the 2nd will depart sometime later, possibly around the first week of June.  He said he's been receiving and sending out lots of mail.  He also told me that his unit had gone out on a humanitarian mission in the morning to fix up and paint a local school.

Steve called this morning (May 2) to tell me he was pretty much over the flu, had lost a bunch of weight and had played volleyball most of the day.  He could not tell me where he was other than to say he was still in Iraq.  He has received a bunch of packages and has responded with several letters.  He expects to depart the first week of June.  Whether that means he will come back to the states or head to Kuwait, I'm not sure.  I asked him to make sure we get a picture of him "so skinny the bones are sticking out from my face."  In other big news, Steve informed me that the picture of the young man asleep in the Humvee might be him, but the Times picture of the soldier with the mortar was NOT him!

Steve called this morning (April 18).  He explained the call was actually "business".  Seems he's getting more mail and received a questionable billing on one of his accounts that he wanted me to check on.  But he was able to tell me that he was still in Baghdad, all of the embedded reporters were gone and that he had gotten several letters.  He had also gotten a couple of packages Kim sent and one that the Oberlins had sent.  He has sent out several letters.  He also feels that his unit will be heading south REAL soon.  Not soon enough for me!

Email sent 8:45 a.m. on April 16, Baghdad time:
Hey dad.. last email. We are now going into the next phase where bagdad is secure so we are probably going to move here shortly and the comp is no longer available. I thank carl for the emails that i have gotten to get out every day that i have done it. There is nothing i need. I am doing well. I typed a 3 page email for the scouts but this comp does not have a floppy. I do not want to end it here, but i know that i will be back in kuwait very VERY soon... Talk to you soon. and forward this to mom and everybody else. Bye

Saturday, April 12:
We received another phone call from Steve on Saturday night. It was a quick one but allowed Kim and Julie a chance to talk to him.  He mentioned that he had received some more letters, especially liking the Abba Zabba that Neal had sent with his letter.  He has still not received any packages and there is no out going mail.  He had time to confirm that the satellite phone he was using belonged to Carl Prine of the Pittsburgh Tribune.  We also received two emails from him.  He informed me of some unfortunate news... Tim the pigeon has passed away of heat stroke.  We all morn the loss of Tim. - Randy

From Friday April 11:
I was heading to work about 8:20 a.m. on Friday, April 11 when the phone in my pocket started twitching.  I said hello and the voice on the other end said... "This is Steve!"  I had to pull off the road.  Steve had borrowed the satellite phone again.  There are two embedded reporters, one from the Pittsburgh Tribune (we had suspected that was the paper) and one from The Ledger (Diane Lacey Allen writes Dispatches from the Desert for The Ledger).  Not sure which one provides the phone for Steve.

Steve was in good shape and spirits sitting just outside Baghdad at what he described as a community college.  There had been some recent fire but things were quiet right then.  He said he was watching some fires burn in Baghdad.  I asked him about the picture and it sounds like it could be him.  He said he had been carrying around both mortars and bazookas.  He also mentioned that there was a Time magazine story a couple of weeks ago on his unit, although the unit name was not given in the article.

Steve finally got a couple of letters.  He received two from me dated the 20th and 21st of March.  He said there are plans to begin more regular delivery of mail and packages to the troops but that out going mail is not happening yet.

He has been told that there is a chance he will be stateside by July 4th, although that is not for sure.  He has TONS of pictures on his digital camera and has room for more.  I told him I sent out another memory card.  So count on a really cool slide show when he comes home.

After about 15 minutes the connection was dropped.  But it was great to hear from the Steve-o.  He is in good shape and has some great stories to share when he gets home!


The previous contact:

Kim and I were awakened about 4:45 a.m. on Friday, March 28, by a phone call from Steve. He had borrowed a newspaper reporter's satellite phone. We were able to talk for about 20 minutes. We even got disconnected and he was able to call back! The connection was great. Steve sounded great, very upbeat and said things were going great. He was eating well, although all meals are MREs. He is not with the Captain any more. He said there are only about 3 in his group, himself and I think two sergeants.

He has not received ANY mail since the war started. In fact, he suggested not sending any more until things get more under control. Bull shit. He'll just get a lot all at once.

He only received Kim's first package of zip locks and chapsticks and little stuff. No other packages made it to him. I would not send any more packages for awhile. Maybe small padded envelopes with a little goodie or two.

He has a humvee pretty much to himself, it sounds like. He said it's a good thing 'cause his stuff is scattered all over the back. Do you know how big a humvee is?

Hanging near the rear view mirror is a picture that he thought Elaine had sent of the LA Skyline. He really likes that picture.

He has a pet pigeon named Tim. I assume Tim has had his wings clipped. Seems Tim escaped the other day and Steve and his sergeant chased the bird half way to Baghdad before catching it. Plans are to have bar-b-queued squab in Baghdad.

With Luka's help, we were able to identify the units Steve would be associated with. Looking up those units in the news can scare the crap out of you. Steve would not indicate at all anything about units or location, not even to say he was in Iraq. But when I mentioned the friendly fire incident with one of those units he knew nothing about it. So the good news I believe is that he is not at the front but behind the front lines. He did say he was not bringing up the rear.

I wanted to get this out quickly and will share as much as I can when I can.

Thanks so much for your support and concern.



Other News Links

Pittsburgh Tribune Review article on the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion - 30Mar2003 website on U.S. CENTCOM Ground Forces

Newsgroup posting of U.S. CENTCOM Ground Forces


General Information:  Steve is a Lance Corporal assigned to the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.  Click here to take a look at the Lejeune web site.


Mission Statement

The Combat Engineer Battalion's mission is to enhance the mobility, counter mobility, and survivability of the Marine Division through combat and limited general engineering support.  The Combat Engineer Battalion performs the following tasks:

  • Plan, organize and conduct mounted/dismounted deliberate breaching operations at the Company level.
  • Plan, organize and conduct mounted/dismounted deliberate breaching operations at the Company, Battalion and Regimental level.
  • Plan, organize and employ expedient and deliberate demolitions.
  • Plan, organize and conduct route/area sweeping operations.
  • Plan, organize and construct explosive and non explosive obstacle systems.
  • Plan, organize and construct hasty and deliberate protective and tactical minefields.
  • Plan, organize and construct a point minefield.
  • plan, organize and construct fighting and protective positions.
  • Plan, organize and employ force protection measures.
  • Plan, organize and provide missions essential water and electrical support.
  • Construct and maintain limited combat roads and trails in support of Division operations.


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