Wednesday, July 07, 2004

From Fred: written 07/05/04 

Fourth of July came and went without fireworks here at Camp Victory. We are pleased with such an outcome.

It was a pretty lazy day for me. I went to two ceremonies in the Palace and then a cookout. First ceremony was to formally present combat patches to the units that deployed in January (III Corps and 5 of its brigade-sized subordinate commands--2 engineer brigades, 2 MP brigades, and a signal brigade). The ceremony occurred in the rotunda of the Palace--same place as the change of command. Small symbolic unit formations with unit colors were present with the commanders and sergeant majors. First GEN Casey, the new Commander Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), presented LTG Metz the III Corps combat patch. Next LTG Metz presented the brigades their patches. It was a nice ceremony.

Second ceremony was an SJA function. Three officers (an Australian Air Force Legal Officer, a US Air Force JA, and a Marine JA) received departure awards and then an NCO was promoted from SGT E-5 to SSG E-6. This ceremony occurred on the back porch by the SJA office on the 3rd floor. Nice view and nice breeze. When I get the digital camera I'll send photos.

The cookout was later in the afternoon. It was very hot--112 degrees. Breeze was not much help. We would spend some time outside, then go inside the MWR building to cool off in the A/C. We had hotdogs and hamburgers with fixings. We can go to the dining facility and sign for food for these events and fix it ourselves. Works out nicely, but right now it is pretty miserable to do things outside.

After having enough cookout fun, I went back to my living trailer, watched a movie, then went to sleep. Fourth of July was nothing exciting but a good break from the normal daily grind.

Another event that occurred here was a 10K run--the famous Peach Tree Road Race from Atlanta, GA set up a course here at Camp Victory as an alternative run site. I think there was a 5K fun-run too. Both runs were in the morning as it gets to hot to run safely much after 0900 now. There were a couple of bands that played at night, and I think part of an NFL cheerleading squad performed.

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