Thursday, November 22, 2007
Thanksgiving with Bravo at Hawas
Today is Thanksgiving. Last month "Battle"--our Bravo Company--left COP Aggressor and moved up to conduct combat operations around the Lake Thar Thar region. They live and work out of Joint Security Site (JSS) Hawas. A company of Marine Engineers and at least a company of Iraqi Army live out there with them. It takes about an hour-and-a-half to get out to them when I visit. The area is remote, and the conditions are relatively harsh. The Marine Engineers built them plywood houses with air-conditioning and heating units in them (it's cooling down, so the typical daytime high has been between 70-90, and the night time low around 30-40). They were thankful to move out of the large, dusty, drafty tents that have provided them shelter for the past 8 weeks.
SGT Tremain and I visited them for a forth time yesterday. It's always good to see Captain McCreary, 1SG Delgado and their Soldiers. As rough as they and some of our other Speed and Power Soldiers have it, their morale often seems higher than those who live in comparative comfort. These guys are seasoned. The many changes to their mission doesn't seem to phase them; they grumble--don't get me wrong--but it's merely an exercise to move them forward.
This most recent visit was the day before Thanksgiving, so the worship service we provided centered on the virtue of gratitude as the crucial ingredient of maintaining humility before the Lord. Our Soldiers have a great deal for which to be thankful--we will all be thinking of our families today. In an effort to make their dust-bowl-of-a-home as much like the real thing, our Soldiers purchased a Thanksgiving turkey from a neighboring village. He weighs at least 25lbs. (pictured above). Battle Soldiers have commo, mechanics, and cooks attached to them--so they will have someone to help them prepare the bird--although I'm not sure they are especially skilled at cleaning the thing. They have named the turkey "Arturo".