M&M Holzmann

MLH & Matt Holzmann are growing a family. We welcome you to follow our progress.

ISAF ‘09- Deployed Times Vol 2, Issue 3

I’m a bit more timely this month. Here’s the July issue of my Deployed Times. Thank you for taking the time and interest to keep up with me and my brothers in arms.

UPDATE: I have a solare pump headed my way for the aquaponics project I want to start up here in Nawa. Additionally, I have permission to start the project, along with space….now it’s time to design.

ISAF ‘09: Photos From My First Patrol

This has to be short, but hopefully y’all feel a bit more connected to what life is like out here through these pictures (Click on the image for full resolution, then right-click, save image as, to save the files.):
1.

Guarding a footbridge in Nawa, Afghanistan.

Guarding a footbridge in Nawa, Afghanistan.


2.
Guarding a footpath in Nawa, Afghanistan.

Guarding a footpath in Nawa, Afghanistan.


3.
Crossing footbridge over a canal in Nawa, Afghanistan.

Crossing footbridge over a canal in Nawa, Afghanistan.


4.
Security patrol in gutted bazaar.

Security patrol in gutted bazaar.


5.
My 'office'.

My 'office'.

ISAF ‘09- Deployed Times Vol 2, Issue 2

To everyone that’s been sending email, letters, and care packages…THANK YOU! It means the world to know that folks back home think about us and care for us.

That said, Vol 2, Issue 2 has been released for public comsumption: 200906 ISAF Newsletter (Click on the link to download or view.)

Mom, thanks for the packages…the clippers got here just in time.

To all, we are in Nawa, Afghanistan, taking part in Operation Khanjar, “sword strike” (this is also a reference to “tip of the spear”, a common term used to describe the Marine Corp’s role in the American military), which has been going very well. We made a dramatic initial push and we continue to do really good work out here for the people of Afghanistan.

ISAF ‘09- Update from nowhere

I’m in a place where we can’t really talk to the outside world, but I wanted to update you all to let you kow that I am OK, and doing well. I miss being back home, and I wish I could be with my girls.

ISAF ‘09- Deployed Times Vol 2, Issue 1

It’s 0500 in Kabul. I’m in Afghanistan, safe and doing well. There’s an early sandstorm just waking up, as the sun begins to glow on the horizon.

Last year, I created a newsletter to help folks back home keep track of my deployment, and this year I’ve done it again. I welcome you all to read through my deployment newsletter, which you can download from here.

Back home, Maira is doing well, but could use some assistance with nanny selection. She has been keeping up with the Sequoia, growing her business, and the household, to include my aquaponics project – she has even had some of our lettuce already. Sequoia is now 4.5 months old. I miss my girls terribly, and can’t wait to get them back in my arms.

Deployed to Afghanistan

On 7 May, I sadly left Maira and Sequoia back in San Diego, in order to deploy to Afghanistan. While I’m gone, I can be reached via email (matthew.holzmann@usmc.mil) or via snail mail at the address below:

Sgt Holzmann, Matthew J
1/5, H&S Co., Comm Plt, Data
Unit 40320
FPO AP 96610-0320

Our journey, thus far, has taken us from March Air Force Base in Riverside, CA, to Bangor, Maine, to Leipzig, Germany, and finally to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishkek
We are awaiting our departure to Afghanistan. Fortunately, this place is beautiful. It is very much like Colorado Springs, with dramatic, large mountains punctuating our view. The range is completely covered in snow.

As we get updates, I”ll be sure to post what I can, when I can.

Thank you all for the wonderful support and love you’ve given me. Please, keep Maira & Sequoia in mind.

AquaPonics, My New Thing

So…I’m totally hooked on aquaponics – the combination of aquaculture & hydroponics.  I first learned about the concept a few weeks ago, in the business section of the local rag. Some folks in Escondido sell turnkey kits for $1200 USD. Well, with the new baby and the economy – and my generally cheap nature – I decided to make my own system. Several weeks of vigorous Internet research on YouTube.com, Instructables.Com, and a bevy of aquaponics sites (Aquaponics.Com, BackYardAquaponics – esp. their forums, and S&S Farms…to name a few), led me along my way.

In the video below, you can see the progress I’ve made so far. We planted our first veggies today, and I hope to add fish early next week. And, the whole operation should be solar powered by Sunday night or Monday afternoon. We should be able to raise up to 40 lbs of tilapia, along with MANY pounds of fresh veggies. In the mighty words of Zach De la Roacha, “We gonna take the power back!”

Fatherhood

In the words of Joey Russo, from Blossom, “Whoa!”

Every day, I fall more in love.  Every day, she develops.  Every day, I wonder if she can wrap me any further around her finger.  And, every day, she does.

Today, we received a letter from my commanding officer.  While I’m sure it’s the same letter every other father in our unit receives, it was still special.  As I read the letter aloud to Maira, I was brought to tears by the weight of the message.  The letter was addressed to our daughter, and it expressed a sense of import regarding our mission as Marines, the role I play in our unit, and feeling of loss every deploying parent  feels during our times away from home and family.

Reading that letter was sobering.  The thought of Sequoia reading that dispatch some 18 years from now, when she goes off to college, was profound.  It made my role in the Marine Corps feel substantial, my role as a servicemember feel essential, and my role as father feel incredibly weighty.  All of which, I feel duty-bound to meet and exceed expectations.

Birth Story

MMommy is healthy after giving birth to our daughter, Sequoia Rae. She is also healthy. She weighs in at 6 lbs 10.5 ozs & is 19.5″ long. Pictured below:

UPDATE: Had a great message from “Aunt Jackie”, “MATT AND MMommy,  YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A  GIFT, A BEAUTIFUL BALL OF CLAY FELL TO EARTH TODAY AND YOU TWO ARE THE SCULPTORS.”

Civilized Living

Currently, I’m in the field training for forward technology solutions. But, one needs to take time out for the finer things in life, like a good shave. A while back, I was turned on to ClassicShaving.com, by Brandon Harper’s review blog. Since, they have been my go to source for most things shaving. For Christmas, my mother hooked me up with a wonderful travel shaving bowl, which affords me the opportunity for a great shave, with quality soap, at a great price, with low Eco impact, and a terrific feel. Below, is a picture of my refined field shaving.

Thanks to my lovely wife for ordering some wonderful soaps, which arrived “next day”, despite ground status, from ClassicShaving.com. Maira is a week away from popping and being in the field sucks. I wish I could be home to support her, instead. Anyhow, it’s time fir bed after a very long night.

UPDATE: Normally, I’d reply in my comments section of a post; however, this calls for a post update to highlight some incredible insight by Mantic59.  For any ‘old-school’ shavers out there, or anyone considering a switch, his blog is a fantastic guide on the subject.  Please, check out http://mantic59.blogspot.com/.