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    The Walker Center—Camp Taji’s relaxation hideaway

    The Walker Center—Camp Taji’s relaxation hideaway

    Photo By Sgt. Matthew Wright | Pfc. Randy Salinas, a Costa Mesa, Calif., native from Bravo Company, 640th Aviation...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Matthew Wright 

    40th Combat Aviation Brigade

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Being in theater in Iraq can put a lot of pressure on soldiers. On constant alert and putting in long work hours means there is little personal time, but the Army does offer soldiers places to unwind and forget, for a moment, where they are.

    One of those places is the Walker Center—a small Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility alongside Camp Taji’s airfield. The center is run by Bravo Company, 640th Aviation Support Battalion, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade.

    The Walker Center is named in honor of Spc. Zandra T. Walker. She was part of the 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas. This Greenville, S.C., native was killed in a mortar attack at Camp Taji, Jan. 15, 2007.

    “From what I read about her, she always had a smile and a wave for the aircraft upon their return,” Helms said.

    Walker had a twin sister, Yolanda Worthy, also serving in the Army. Yolanda was serving in Kuwait during the time of her sister’s death. A mural of Zandra Walker is on the inside wall of the center.

    Sgt. Jared Flammond from Cut Bank, Mont., of 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 640th ASB, works on a rotation, maintaining the center as well as supplying the games and maintaining the computers and phones for soldiers to use.

    Flammond said the Walker Center is a place where soldiers can check e-mail, Facebook or sit down and watch movies—activities which are good for morale.

    Sgt. 1st Class Sean T. Helms, platoon sergeant for B Company, 640th ASB is in charge of the Walker Center. “There is a ping pong table, foosball table, bumper pool and a billiards table,” he said, “from board games, card games to places to just talk and relax.”

    The Walker Center also has more than 4,000 soft-cover books and about 400 movies to choose from. Outside the center, there is a basketball court, two regulation volleyball courts and three regulation horseshoe pits. Also outside is a patio with barbecue equipment for cookouts and a speaker system that plays music.

    The Walker Center provides soldiers a place to relax and escape from their daily duties, and brings a little comfort of home, Helms said.



    Date Taken: 04.25.2011
    Date Posted: 05.03.2011 08:37
    Story ID: 69756
    Location: CAMP TAJI, IQ 

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