News: Soccer Strengthens Partnership Between Iraqi and U.S. Army Soldiers
Story by 1st Lt. Meghan E. Keefe
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GHALIBIYAH, Iraq — Soldiers of Joint Task Force Eagle recently traveled to Ghalibiayh, Iraq and joined their Iraqi army counterparts in a friendly, yet competitive, game of soccer.
Their universal language is hard work and competition. Soccer games between U.S. and Iraqi Soldiers are common. The 5th Iraqi Army Field Engineer Regiment holds an undefeated record in previous games against other Army engineers. With the recent arrival of the 37th Engineer Battalion, JTF Eagle, out of Fort Bragg N.C., the Iraqis faced a new challenger. The JTF Eagle Soldiers played hard, despite 115-degree temperature.
The 37th En. Bn. partnered with the 5th IA FER during the unit's deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The focus of this partnership is to improve Iraqi civil capacity through engineering projects in the Diyala province.
Both U.S and Iraqi Soldiers cheered from the sidelines. Soldiers from JTF Eagle whispered to each other how impressed they were that their Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Paul Huszar and Battalion Executive Officer Maj. John Lloyd played the whole game and kept the same pace as the younger Soldiers. Despite the best efforts of the JTF Eagle Soldiers, the Iraqis won with a 3-0 victory.
Prior to leaving Ghalibiyah, Huszar told the 5th IA FER Commander, Col. Ra'ad they would have to get together for another game in the near future.