Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division enjoyed a day of camaraderie and prepackaged Meals Ready-to-Eat accompanied by Tropic Breeze, the jazz formation of the 25th Infantry Division band. It was a far cry from the homecooked turkey, but the soldiers were grateful to know this would be their last holiday season in Iraq.
“When you’re away from home, away from family … you can come together and take your mind off the work for a minute, and be thankful of the people that are here and around you,” said Sgt. Maj. Cyrus Netter, judge advocate non-commissioned officer in charge for the 25th Infantry Division. “Soldiers are always a unit, the biggest thing to a soldier when it comes to serving is really about the people they serve with, to their left and right.” Netter, who grew up in a large family with 11 siblings, said he preferred enjoying a big meal at home, but still had plenty to be thankful for.
“Being here and having an MRE, I’m thankful to have something,” he said. “It’s fitting that this is our last holiday here … it’s fitting that we get to spend it with our military family. We’re leaving here as a team, as a family.”
Service members also gathered to the sounds of patriotic tunes and classic holiday music for a Thanksgiving service at COB Adder’s chapel to give thanks, led by Lt. Col. Scott Hammond, U.S. Division – Center and 25th Infantry Division chaplain.
“Sometimes we look at things we wish we had and we forget about all that we really do have,” said Hammond. “Even though I’m away from my loved ones, I’m grateful that I have loved ones.”
After feasting on MREs and each other’s company, soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division celebrated with more traditional Thanksgiving fare: smoked turkey and duck.
Different service members chose different ways to carve up their last turkey day celebration before closing out their mission. As U.S. troops withdraw and bases are turned over to the Iraqi security forces, soldiers on COB Adder are thankful to be going home.
November 27, 2011: Written by Pvt. Andrew Slovensky, 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Redistributed by www.SupportOurTroops.org