Marines with Truck Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward) cheer on their fellow teammates during the tire flip competition at a field meet aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, September 19, 2009. II MHG (Fwd) held the field meet to boost morale and break the monotony of deplyment.
Cpl. Triah Pendracki, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)
AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq – While Marines stateside usually have Saturdays to themselves and their families, the Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward) spent theirs putting their minds and bodies to the test.
II MHG (Fwd) held the second field meet of their deployment aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Sept. 19, 2009.
“We hold these field meets to boost morale and camaraderie,” explained Master Sgt. William Gaddy, the communications chief with internal security forces and an event monitor. “We try to give them a break from their day-to-day lives out here of pencil and paper pushing.”
There were a few new events this time around. There was one called the “spider web.” During this event, Marines had to maneuver through a net with large holes without touching the edges.
One of the more favored competitions was the pie eating contest. During the event, the competitors were not allowed to use their hands and had to consume an entire pie faster than the other Marines.
While the field meet is mostly for fun and relaxation, some Marines saw it as a competition.
“We are here to give it our all no matter what,” said Lance Cpl. Twan Osby, a motor transport operator with Truck Company, II MHG (Fwd). “It’s fun for us to break up the day, but we want to come out on top!”
But in the end, all the motivation and determination aside, it was the Personnel Security Detachment who came out on top thanks in large part to Lance Cpl. Chad Salisbury’s performance in the pie eating contest. Salisbury had the support of his entire team and other Marines from the PSD as they cheered him on to victory.
“You’re a barrel-chested, amphibious, pie eating warrior!” cheered one Marine while another shouted, “If you win this you won’t have to work tomorrow!”
Other events included sumo suit wrestling, a mile relay and tug-of-war.
“Tug-of-war is probably my favorite event,” said Osby. “It’s just plain fun. But, if I could choose another event for next time, I would choose grappling or (Marine Corps Martial Arts) or something like that.”
In almost perfect timing, the fun for the day came to a close just as a large orange cloud of dust loomed closer and closer toward the Marines who dispersed to avoid the storm, but it’s all in a day’s work for these Marines.