BALAD, Iraq Aca,!" History has and always will be an important part of our lives. Whether it is world history, the history of the state youAca,!a,,cre from, or your familyAca,!a,,cs history, history impacts most people in one way or another.
For the Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, the history of their regiment is held deep in their hearts. And although the Soldiers of the Aca,!A"WarhorseAca,!A? battalion were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08, they did not allow that to stop them from celebrating the 141st birthday of their regiment at Forward Operating Base Paliwoda in Balad, Iraq, Sept. 21.
In honor of their regimentAca,!a,,cs birthday, the Soldiers took a break from their rigorous deployment routine for a rest and re-fit period to enjoy challenging activities and good food.
Soldiers were treated to a barbeque and music during the occasion. They also participated in a strong-man competition to prove their mettle and enjoy the brotherhood they share with the buddies they serve alongside on a daily basis.
With the temperature still soaring around 100 degrees, the Soldiers were physically taxed after competing in the events, which included a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle tire flip, track pull and truck pull.
First Lt. Benjamin Harrow of Wilmington, N.C., placed first in the event; Pfc. Kyle Bushey of Mooers Forks, N.Y., placed second, and Sgt. Darius Heard of Detroit, placed third overall.
The battalion is in its twelfth month of combat and stability operations in Salah Ah Din province, charged to work with local Iraqi Security Forces to protect the people of Balad, Dujayl and the surrounding community.
Lt. Col. Kevin Dunlop, battalion commander, said, Aca,!A"It has been a tough ride, but one where our troopers have served honorably and done very well. We have fought hard here to bring stability to this area. We are using this day to remember where we came from and celebrate who we are.Aca,!A?
The dayAca,!a,,cs activities concluded with an awards presentation and cake-cutting ceremony. Pvt. Jonathan Aguirre from Las Vegas, the youngest trooper in the battalion, assisted Dunlop in cutting the ceremonial cake.
Aca,!A"This is an opportunity to allow Soldiers to celebrate the history of their unit by enjoying some well-deserved break away from their daily mission set,Aca,!A? Dunlop continued. Aca,!A"After 12 months in country, we saw it necessary to celebrate our achievements and mentally prepare ourselves to complete our mission.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"[The Soldiers] continue to show me their Aca,!Eoeno quitAca,!a,,c attitude every day. There is still a long way to go on this deployment and we will continue to stay focused,Aca,!A? he said.