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4th of July Spc. Anna-Marie Risner

TIKRIT, Iraq (July 4, 2006) -- Sergeant Chuck Gamero, 136th Signal Battalion, Texas Army National Guard, recites Patrick Henry's Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech during an Independence Day presentation at Contingency Operating Base Speicher.

TIKRIT, Iraq (July 4, 2006) -- Soldiers at Contingency Operating Base Speicher celebrated Independence Day with praise and fellowship -- topped off by some fireworks.

The Garrison Chaplains" Office organized the 4th of July celebration which included both patriotic and traditional hymns, special music selections and a recitation of Patrick Henry's Give me Liberty speech at the COB theatre.

"I had wanted to do something with some traditional hymns," said a garrison chaplain. "As the 4th got closer — I figured why not combine the two."

The chaplain got in touch with Sgt. Chuck Gamero, 136th Signal Battalion, Texas Army National Guard, an aspiring actor who has appeared in episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger, to perform in the service.

Gamero said he was happy to get back on stage, something he has not been able to do much since deploying to Iraq, and knew he could perform the role of the Revolutionary lawyer; drawing inspiration from the source he says is his reason for everything he does -- his daughter.

"My daughter's name is Liberty Marie," he said. "So when I say "give me liberty or give me death" — it's like give me my daughter or give me death. She's the inspiration for everything I do over here."

The evening culminated with a taped fireworks display, given to the chaplain by KOTV, Tulsa, Okla. The chaplain said he felt it would be a nice change for troops to be able to watch some type of fireworks, not being able to have a real display in a combat zone.

As Soldiers mingled in the hallway and inside the theater, eating hotdogs and watching the pyrotechnics, many commented that although they were miles from the United States, the Independence Day celebration made them feel just a little closer to home.


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This work, 4th of July, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:07.07.2006

Date Posted:07.07.2006 09:18

Location:TIKRIT, IQGlobe

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