Jen's letter to GI in Iraq -
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2003, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Jen's letter to GI in Iraq

Is this fake or real??

From: Melfi Mary L Capt 336 EFS
Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 1:10 AM
To: Jennifer Capriati
Subject: Greetings from Mary in the Middle East

Hi Jennifer!

Thank you for participating in the Jocks to GI pen pal program! I want to let you know a bit about me so you know who you will be writing to. My name is Mary Melfi. I entered Active Duty 9 years ago and am a Capt in the USAF. I have been flying the F-15E Strike Eagle for 6 years now. The F-15E is a fighter jet that drops laser guided bombs ... in other words ... extremely accurate. I am able to take out a critical military target (building, radar site, etc) in the middle of the city while causing little to no damage to the surrounding environment. My call sign is "Ginger" which I will go into later if you are interested.

I am from Long Island, New York and am the oldest of 2 girls. I am 31 yrs old and still single (like most professional women these days). I have a Yellow Labrador puppy named Glory. We are inseparable when I am home. I have even taken him with me TDY (stands for Temporary Duty, i.e. a military business trip) to Las Vegas for 4 weeks last summer. It was great having him there to do things with after work ... like go to the park or to Lake Mead (where he learned how to swim for the 1st time). I forgot to mention, he is only 11 mos old now, so he was a little puppy on that trip. Mom and my sister, Kristen, are taking care of him while I am here flying and fighting in the War. I believe you have a dog of your own, don't you?

I have been a big tennis fan for the past 15 years. I enjoyed watching you play on AFN (Armed Forces News... the network picks and chooses the more important events and shows to air) in Key Biscayne last week. The last time I deployed to the Middle East was in Jan-Mar 99. I returned home in mid March and the following week I was on a plane to Florida to attend what was then the Liptons. I stayed with a friend of mine at the Sonesta Resort and oddly enough rode the elevator with you up to my floor. You looked really nice, evidently just coming from a party I think you said. I am not so bold that I would expect you to remember such a random moment in your life, just thought that it is pretty ironic that here I sit 4 yrs later writing you an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you.

Next time I will tell you about the living arrangements, the base etc. Please feel free to ask me any questions you have about anything. If I can't answer specific military related questions due to it's classification level I will just tell you so, no big deal. If you have more questions about me, I can most likely answer any of them. Either way it doesn't hurt to ask : )

Take Care,

Mary : )

From: Jennifer Capriati
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 2:17 PM
To: Melfi Mary L Capt 336 EFS
Subject: RE: Greetings from Mary in the Middle East

Hello Mary,

It's so nice to "meet" you, well sort of meet you I'm glad to have this opportunity to come in contact with a soldier over in the Middle East. Especially a fighter pilot. Wow! That's really cool. How long did it take to train for that? How do you feel about having that much power with a touch of the button? Incredible. Maybe someday you could actually show me how it's done. I'll trade you for a tennis lesson

Your puppy sounds so cute and like me, you love to spend as much time as possible and take them everywhere. I have 2 dogs, Happy and Aries. Happy is pure breed blacklab and Aries is a mix of lab and boxer. With 2 it's very hard to bring them places especially with traveling so much. They don't exactly like 2 big dogs hanging out in hotels. Hopefully you can get home real soon to see your baby. Do you know when that possibly could be? I'm sure soon because the news makes it sound like you guys are doing great and kicking some butt!

I could go on and on with questions about being over there but I won't ask all in the first email!

Thank you too for the pictures, you look like a very nice person and pretty too. I'm suprised you are single. Actually I'm single also so I can definitely understand that being a professional doesn't make it easier to have relationships. Our dogs are enough

Well Mary, aka Ginger, before I bore you and go on and on I want to say that I'm honored to have come in contact with you and you have my full support of what you guys are doing. Thank You.

Hope to hear from you soon and take good care of yourself.

Your friend,


From: Melfi Mary L Capt 336 EFS
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 12:20 AM
To: Jennifer Capriati
Subject: RE: Greetings from Mary in the Middle East

Hi Jennifer!

Good Morning Jen! Well at least it is for me ... it's almost 7am here (midnight eastern std time) and I just got back from flying. Last night was a good one!! I can't go into details on the e-mail ... perhaps we could sit down some day over a Gatorade and exchange "war stories"... mine from here and yours from Tennis.

I really love night flying. I am a bit of a night owl in the 1st place, but the best part is that it is safer to fly at night bcs the bad guys can't see you ... they can only hear you as you fly past ... but then it is usually too late (we fly the equivalent of 700 miles per hour).

I have been flying on Active Duty for 9 years, 6 of which have been in the F-15E. It takes about 3 years from the time you start flight school until you are considered "Combat Ready" in your jet/plane. It is actually an awesome feeling having as much power as we do, especially when the Army and Marines on the ground are yelling for help. We are able to eliminate/minimize a given threat to them with the push of a button and the steady hand to guide the bomb to the target with the laser. I would love to show you how it is done, in exchange for a tennis lesson : ) Once I get back to NC, you'll have to let me know if you are ever in the "neighborhood" because I could take you into the simulator and you could "fly" us around for and hour and a half ... and drop bombs on the simulated bad guys!!

I know what you mean about many places not being "big dog friendly". Your pups sound cute, how old are they? I am not quite sure when I will be heading home. When all is said and done, there is still a "clean up phase"... We need to get the new Iraqi Gov't on it's feet and ensure no hostilities break out from the other Middle East countries. I may be out of here next month or perhaps in July, which is what we were originally told to expect (6 mos). I am going to travel in Europe for a couple of weeks on my way home ... I will get off the military plane in Europe, travel and then get on a wait list for the next military plane to the USA. I have never taken advantage of "military hops" before in my career. They are free, but on a stand-by basis. I figure right now I am 7000 miles away. Italy is about half way... it would make for a nice way to break up the trip.

Being single is becoming quite the trend, unless you are in the military. About 10 percent of my squadron is single. I am definitely glad to have Glory! I bet you have run into similar circumstances... You begin to date a guy, and then out of the blue he can't handle the fact that, I do what I do, for a living... it usually stems from poor self esteem on his part. What he doesn't realize is that most of the time it is not glamourous to be a "Fighter" girl...working in a non-traditional career. There are a lot of issues to deal with that he probably didn't even know existed. Then again if he can't handle what I do for a living, I don't need him, hence, I am still single.

I told you this time I would explain a bit about where I live. It is a 12 person air conditioned tent (much sturdier than the ones you go camping in). I live with 11 other female officers. Five of us fly, the others are doctors, maintenance and intelligence officers. We get along really well, maybe bcs we often don't see each other due to being on different shifts. We brought shower curtains and sheets to drape on rope to section off our personal space which is not big by any stretch. Each space is 8ftx5ft and in this space we need to fit a bed, wall locker and perhaps a little end table that is made from scrapwood provided by the base. By the time you are done you have 5'x2' of free space.

Wow I just looked at my watch and realized it is 8am ...I type slow : ) I also just noticed it's Friday (thank goodness I have my Ironman watch to tell me), so go and enjoy your weekend for me ... they don't exist while you are deployed ... you work 7 days every week ... it is not as bad as you would think though, bcs the reason we are working is so important ... to provide another country with the opportunity to be free from a dictator ... now that's cool!!

Take care and write back soon,


From: Jennifer Capriati
Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2003 8:34 AM
To: Melfi Mary L Capt 336 EFS
Subject: RE: Greetings from Mary in the Middle East

Hello there,

How are you? Sorry it's been a couple of days to respond, but I'm just getting ready for a tournament in Amelia Island next week. Actually I'm already there. Not the most exciting place but it's on the beach so it's nice. You probably never want to see sand again after being over there right? and wow, your living space is really small! But at least you get to put your stuff in there and it doesn't look that bad, kinda cozy.
How hot has it been getting over there? Do you like flying at night or day better? Do you guys even fly at all during the day? It's really incredible whats happening over there but I'm sure you don't want to always talk about it. Just like me and tennis. Sometimes it feels like 24/7 so its nice to take a break and not talk about work all the time. But speaking of work, I have to go practice now. I just wanted to write a quick hello. I will definitely write more later.

Take care of yourself and be well. Thanks for all the pics. I will try to get you some to send. I love the one of you and your dog in the jet. That's awesome. He is adorable.

Bye for now,

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2003, 09:53 AM
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aw, bless

Those are so sweet!

and where they produce desolation, they call it peace
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2003, 01:15 PM
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awwh hehe I heard about Andy Roddick's and was waiting for Jen's to come up so thanks for that Katharina!!

Jen's so sweet
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2003, 05:47 PM
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I had to wipe a tear from my eye
Jen is such a nice person !
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2003, 02:04 AM
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Way to support the troops Jenn!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2003, 08:00 AM
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God thats an awsome thing...but not so surprising remember Jen's just a regular lady like us...she do the same. Trish Stratus
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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jen is so lovely those letters wud keep spirits up and i bet they will stay friends 4 ages
way to go jen
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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That lucky girl is gettin a tennis lesson of the Capster
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