News: Marines find downtime while deployed
Story by Lance Cpl. Mark Garcia
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan —Deployed Marines work grueling hours to accomplish their individual missions; however, the Marines from Regimental Combat Team 6 found time in their busy schedules to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with a barbeque, March 17.
The barbeque was designed to give the Marines a break, help build camaraderie and strengthen the brotherhood which exists between them.
“It was designed to give the Marines a chance to get out and do something other than the normal day-to-day grind and build some camaraderie,” Master Sgt. Earl Watie said, 45, mess chief, from Denver, Colo. “The barbeque gave them a chance to play games and enjoy some good food and not really worry about the trials going on outside of the wire.”
For junior Marines on their first deployment the barbeque allowed them the opportunity to celebrate a holiday while in a combat zone.
“I have a few Marines with me that this is their first deployment. I think this barbeque means a great deal to them mainly because of the fact that you don’t know what to expect when you come over here on your first deployment,” Watie said. “There’s a lot of unknowns. So when you actually get here and you hit the ground running – just the fact that the regimental commander thinks enough to say let’s put everything on pause for a minute and let’s just have a good time and enjoy each other’s company – I think it means it a great deal to the Marines.”
Though some Marines had to prepare the food and organize the events they were still able to enjoy the festivities.
“It really brought warmth to my heart to see people come out here and enjoy the food I helped prepare,” Lance Cpl. Marc Bethea said, 21, food service specialist, from Suitland, Md. “I love being out here. I got to participate in some of the activities such as football, throwing the frisbee, playing some corn hole and eating some food. It’s nice to be able to have some fun even while in a combat zone.”
Editor’s note: Forward Operating Base Delaram II currently houses Regimental Combat Team 6 in 1st Marine Division (Forward), which heads Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.