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CONTACT: Louis Mongello
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Website URL: www.disneyworldtrivia.com
U.S. SOLDIER BRINGS DISNEY MAGIC TO THE IRAQI DESERT
Disney World Trivia Book Provides An Anchor To Home
Edison, NJ, April 20, 2006 — For Platoon Sergeant Craig T. Silva, SFC, US, Multi-National Division, Baghdad, even the torrential rains and brutal dust storms in the Iraqi desert can’t keep him from enjoying a little Disney magic. Silva, who is the Platoon Sergeant for GIS (Geospatial Information & Services) Section at a Division level, keeps a copy of author Lou Mongello’s 2004 book, “The Walt Disney World Trivia Book,” close at hand to remind him of the good times he spent with his family at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
“I believe I picked up your book in ‘05 in the Orlando Airport on our way home from Disney World,” said Silva in an email sent to Mongello through his website, DisneyWorldTrivia.com. “My wife saw it on the shelf and thought it might be fun to quiz each other on the flight home. I read it now to remember the good times that my family and I had—and will have—again.”
Silva, who says that Internet access from Iraq is frequently down due to power outages, found DisneyWorldTrivia.com quite by accident. “Out here we have NIPR (Non-secure Internet Protocols) net and it won’t let us access much,” said Silva. “It was just pure luck that I tried your address. For whatever reason, the Military Net gives me unlimited access to your site. No other Disney site is authorized for access. Your website is pretty much the bright spot in my whole day.”
Since finding the site, several members of his platoon have posted on the site’s community forums and Silva has been in continuing contact with site owner, Lou Mongello. In addition to using “The Walt Disney World Trivia Book” to pass the time, Silva uses it to convert other members of the platoon into Disney nuts by rewarding those who answer Disney trivia questions correctly with days off. “My platoon has 10 actual Disney fans, but 20 total soldiers,” said Silva. “Only one other person besides me is a real trivia buff, but I am slowly converting them over.”
Author Lou Mongello, who has sent the platoon a care package of books, pins, lanyards, luggage tags, and other sundries, has a photo hanging in his office of Silva holding a copy of his book with members of his platoon around him. “This really meant a lot to me that he chose to take my book along and use it to help boost morale for his platoon,” says Mongello. “Of all the feedback I have received since the book came out, this one really struck me.”
Silva’s team, who is in Iraq for the second time in a three year period, has done everything from providing battlefield visualization products to the Commanding General and primary staff, to breaking down doors, defending hospitals and escorting convoys. His unit earned the distinction of being the only GIS section with a Purple Heart from an IED/Ambush. “I just want to say that you can be proud of every one of these soldiers serving with me,” said Silva.“I have been truly blessed to be leading such a fine group of soldiers. The pride I have in my Platoon is like that of a Father with his children…they do each and every mission, no matter how difficult, with courage and professionalism from start to finish.”
Platoon Sergeant Craig T. Silva (standing, left) -
magickingdom67 on DWT.com
and members of his platoon with author Lou Mongello’s book,
“The Walt Disney World Trivia Book”
Standing row left to right
SFC Craig Silva-CA., SGT Robin Buckhouse-WI., SPC Scott Cecilio-MD., SPC Devin Leonard-NY., SPC Christopher Knight-FL., SGT Scott Gilligan-CA.
Kneeling row left to right
SPC John Sosa-NY., SPC Alyssa Rang- AZ., SPC Lyda Cannon-MN., PFC Courtney Joyner-UT.
CW2 William Russell-MD., SSG Anthony Jackson-OH., SGT Tiffany Bryant-AR., SPC Michael Graham-FL., SPC Jason Terry-KY., SPC Sylvia Tumball-FL., PV2 Brian Brokling-WY., PV2 William Smith-FL.