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Soldier's letter highlights second day of camp

Soldier's letter highlights second day of camp

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Soldier's letter highlights second day of camp
This week, the D-backs are holding their sixth annual Fantasy Camp down at their Spring Training complex in Tucson, Ariz. Steve Gilbert, who covers the team for MLB.com, is taking part in the camp and will be writing a daily diary of his experiences.

TUCSON, Ariz. -- When I watch the fighter planes from nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in the skies above the fields here, I always think of Lt. Col. Brent Vosseller.

Vosseller, a fighter pilot, had attended the previous four Fantasy Camps and wanted to be here for this one, but duty literally called and he is currently flying missions in Afghanistan.

Before Kangaroo Court this morning, one of the campers read an email that Vosseller sent Sunday:

I've been in Afghanistan for 100 days and I will be here another 80 or so. The past three months have been a stark contrast to what I am normally doing during the months leading up to Christmas. Usually, I can be found working out in the gym, outside throwing the ball or swinging the bat, all in the name of getting ready for camp. But this year, I will have to read about it on the D-backs' Web site and Steve Gilbert's blog.

Where would I rather be? I think you know the answer. This is what I have been trained to do and I don't mind getting my payback for 9/11 every chance I get. I did bring my glove with me and have been playing catch with my boss and a few other guys in the group. It feels right, in a weird way, to be throwing the baseball in the middle of the mountainous desert (Bagram is very much like Tucson), even though I can't be there with you all.

Tell Alan [Zinter] and Steve [Finley] that I wish I could help defend our title as Camp Champs, but defending freedom will easily fill the void. Tell all the boys I'll see them next year.

Got to run as the base is under mortar attack ... again.

Vosseller no doubt would have gotten a kick out of some of the Kangaroo Court cases Tuesday. Once again, Luis Gonzalez and Reggie Sanders were right in the middle of it, only this time, the case involved Finley.

Gonzalez brought Finley up on charges of "monkey see, monkey do" for following Sanders' lead in asking for specially made vegan meals during the camp.

David Dellucci is making his first appearance at camp. The former outfielder and pinch-hitter extraordinaire from the 2001 world championship team wound up a little lighter in the wallet during court for being a day late to camp due to missing his flight Sunday and secondly for allowing himself to be introduced as a member of the Cleveland Indians while modeling a wedding tuxedo on The Price is Right.

In fairness to Dellucci, he did play for the Indians, but former teammate Matt Williams and the rest of his 2001 teammates felt that it was disrespectful that he was not identified as a member of that team.

Dellucci has always been popular among female fans given his model looks and when judge Mark Grace asked, "How do you plead?" someone in the group said, "Gorgeous," which got quite a laugh.

We suffered our first injury of note Tuesday as Gregg Simon was hit in the eye when he lost a pop fly in the sun. Saw him at the mixer Tuesday night and he looked like he had just gone 15 rounds in a heavyweight fight with his right eye black and blue and very swollen.

Simon, a personal assistant for actress Carmen Electra, said he plans on being back on the field Wednesday.

Also at the mixer, Sanders was asked about his memories about facing all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, who announced his retirement Tuesday.

Sanders told some good stories about how he and Hoffman both were shortstops in the Reds' system before Hoffman moved to the mound and Sanders to the outfield.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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