DIYALA PROVINCE, IRAQ
DIYALA, Iraq — The Dining Facility at Forward Operating Base Cobra, Iraq, re-opened its doors after a month of reconstruction at a dedication ceremony on April 3.
The facility was renamed The Private First Class Erin L. McLyman Dining Facility in honor of McLyman who was killed during a mortar attack at FOB Cobra on March 13.
The renovated Dining Facility is part of an expansion of FOB Cobra to make living conditions here better for Soldiers.
"To say that we inherited a neglected outpost would be an understatement," said Lt. Col. Joseph Davidson, commander of 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. "For many of the Soldiers here, nothing was more important than the arrival of contracted cooks and a renovated Dining Facility."
As the long awaited day for a better Dining Facility arrived, it was also met with sorrow with the dedication to McLyman.
"I didn't get a chance to know Pfc. McLyman, but I knew about her," said Davidson. "She was a tenacious, fun-loving Soldier. She simply was what we want, and what we expect from all of our Soldiers. The decision to dedicate this Dining Facility to Pfc. McLyman was an easy one."
Present for the dedication were her friends and comrades from Company B, 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 3 SBCT, 2nd ID, including Spc. Crystal Newman, a mechanic from Sacramento, Calif., who was McLyman's best friend in the Army.
"Honestly, I didn't expect this to happen," said Newman. "On my FOB [Warhorse] there are gyms dedicated, our helicopter pad is dedicated to someone, and I'm really glad they did this. I'm honored to be here, and if she were here she would be honored as well."
After the dedication ceremony, the Dining Facility served its first meal, and as the Soldiers of FOB Cobra celebrated the opening of the newly renovated building, they took time to remember their fallen comrade.
"We are sad with the passing of Pfc. McLyman, and we are honored that we get the chance to dedicate this to her," said Davidson.
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This work, FOB Cobra dedicates Dining Facility to fallen Soldier, by SGT Adrian Muehe, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.