today my 19 year old cousin shipped out. they had a party for him in pittsburgh and i got to talk to him, which was nice. my family is pretty politically polarized (nice alliteration, if grammatically incorrect), but everyone was on their best behavior for his farewell. this brings the grand total of friends and family in iraq to five. two are remf's, the other three (including my cousin) are seeing or going to see combat. who else has friends and family involved in the conflict?