Long Knife Soldier celebrates special Day in Iraq
January 30, 2009
Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq - In front of 1,000 screaming Service members and civilian contractors here at the base's Memorial Hall, Sgt. Rebecca Hadley, an Aviation Operations Sergeant with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division 'Long Knives,' and Keech Rainwater, lead drummer for the country music band Lonestar, stood on a red, white and blue decorated stage under bright lights holding a birthday cake, as the fans sang (happy birthday) Jan 24.
"I've not had many birthdays in the states since I joined the Army," said Hadley, a native of Galveston, Texas with nine and a half years of military experience. "So this was really special for me."
For Hadley, the opportunity to listen to a live concert on her special day was great, but Rainwater said it's a day he'll always remember.
"It's definitely a birthday I'll never forget for the rest of my life," he said. "It's such a privilege to be over here and celebrate my birthday with my new family; the United States military."
Earlier in the day, the drummer got to spend some of his birthday at the remote Forward Operating Base Hunter near the Iraq-Iran border. The band performed an acoustic show for the Soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
"Their equipment was really limited here," said Pfc. Rachelle Halaska, who hails from Hartland, Wis. "But they did a really awesome performance."
Lonestar ended their nine-day Inauguration Tour at COB Adder, after visiting bases in Baghdad and Kuwait City.
During their performances, they played a few of their hit songs such as "I'm Already There", "Tell Her" and "What About Now."
The band also sang "Amazed" by special request from the 4th Special Troops Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Eger, who dedicated the song to his wife on their wedding day.
"Being able to come over here and share these awesome moments with you all is truly the highlight of our career," said Dean Sams, as he sat behind his keyboard during the show. "And we just want to thank you all for your sacrifices and what you do for us over here."