November 9, 2006 - Ralph John has long been known as the Rockford RiverHawks' biggest fan. He is believed to be the first person to purchase season tickets when the franchise moved to Rockford in the fall of 2001. His family was typically the first to arrive at the ballpark on game days and could be seen at virtually every game, sitting in the front row at Marinelli Field.
Ralph, his wife Paula, and their son Eric moved to Texas because of the economy and an opportunity for Ralph to work as a civilian contractor for the military. Ralph John had a chance to visit new RiverHawks Stadium this summer while between tours in Iraq. He's back in Baghdad and sends greetings to the RiverHawks and their fans via email:
Well back here in Iraq again. This time I am at Camp Taji which is in
North West part of Baghdad. Weather is cold and rainy. Been having a
couple of days which the bad guys let us know they are still at it. We had
four rockets hit near our sleeping quarters last night which we all ran
to the bunkers. Spent two hours in there getting colder and colder.
Working on the Commanding Generals Army Airborne Command and Control
System Blackhawk UH-60 helicopter. Will be here for a year this time with
the 1st Cav. Aviation Alpha Company. All the pilots are great and tease
me a lot about being the only civilian within the Alpha Company. The
picture attached was taken at a Polish air base we landed at to refuel
our Blackhawks. We carry 9mm pistols and M4 rifles for protection. The M4
has taken the place of the M16. A lot smaller stock which makes it nice
in the helicopter. You all take care and see you all when I return.
Equipment Specialist GS-11
A2C2S Field Support Representative
A Co. 2nd BN 227th Avn
1st Cavalry Div.
Camp Taji, Iraq