News: 'There’s No Place like Home' 3rd ACR offers the next best thing for Thanksgiving
Story by Staff Sgt. Mark Albright
BABIL PROVINCE, Iraq – Not being home for Thanksgiving is hard on the soldiers, family and friends of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. The Troops of “America’s Only Cavalry Regiment” know any attempt to lighten that burden would need to be done with the unit’s own “Brave Rifles” style.
The team of soldiers and contractors on all of the unit’s bases in Iraq stepped up to do just that: make soldiers feel at home, as much as possible.
The Thanksgiving theme at Contingency Operating Site Kalsu, “The Wizard of Oz,” allowed Troopers of the regiment to dress up as characters from the movie to make the connection between their deployment and the basic concept of the film, “There’s no place like home.”
Soldiers were offered all of the holiday spread of turkey, stuffing and every possible side a soldier would want.
“It is important to celebrate all major holidays when away from home. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the things that you have in your life and also to remind us about being home with our loved ones,” said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Aaron, COS Kalsu Dining Facility Manager.
The unit planned to celebrate Thanksgiving the best way it could. The dining facility staff spent two days decorating the main dining room with the holiday and movie themes. Smiles and laughter filled the room as soldiers of COS Kalsu seemed to appreciate the effort to make them feel at home.
“I like the Wizard of Oz theme a lot. It’s really cute,” said Spc. Colleen Cobb, regimental topographic section. “There is no place like home, but this is a great substitute. It makes me feel like I belong to a team that cares.”
The “Regiment” knows the holiday is about food and family and has worked to make sure the soldiers of the unit can celebrate at their home away from home with their 3rd ACR family.
“This is my first Thanksgiving away from home, and I have to say this is the best thing anyone can do to make it a good experience,” said 1st Lt John Michael Cristiano, Howitzer Battery, 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. “It’s very nice.”
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