They may be waking up with more sand and crawly creatures in their tent than they would like, but the members of Nevada's 1864th Transportation Co. are doing their best to keep their morale high while in Egypt.
"I'm trying to learn more about Egypt while I'm here," said Staff Sgt. Tony Manginelli, from Las Vegas. "We haven't had much contact with the Egyptians other than the guards yet, but I've still been talking with the Egyptian civilians that have been working in our area."
Staff Sgt. Manginelli and Staff Sgt. Paul Tiensvold, from Winnemucca, chatted with Marco and Ramy, two Egyptian maintenance workers in Mubarak Military City. After bartering and exchanging a glo-stick for Egyptian tea, Staff Sgt. Tiensvold, who had brought his harmonica, decided to share a few tunes.
"I tried to play some Egyptian music," Tiensvold said, then laughed and added, "I didn't really brush up on the latest Egyptian Top 40 before I arrived, but I had them rockin' just a little."
Later that day, Tiensvold pulled out his harmonica to pass the time and soon soldiers gathered around.
"I've found that the harmonica always brings people together," he said. "That's why I take it wherever I go."
The truck company is transporting equipment from the Port of Agami to Mubarak Military City to support the Bright Star war games.
Forty members of Nevada's 1864th Transportation Co. are in Egypt for their annual training to support the NATO exercise called Bright Star.
The exercise, which involves 70,000 troops from 10 nations, was planned before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. The company will be deployed for three weeks.