Christmas in Iraq, Soldiers dine together, enjoy holiday atmosphere at DFAC
December 28, 2007
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - Food is considered an important part of many holidays, and Christmas, even Christmas in Iraq, seems to be no exception. Soldiers lined up outside Pegasus Dining Facility here for their Christmas meal at lunchtime on Christmas day.
Workers at the DFAC set up different decorations and dressed up in Christmas costumes, including Santa and reindeer to add to the holiday environment.
Angela Harper, the assistant DFAC manager for the Pegasus Dining Facility, helped to organize the meal for the Soldiers.
Workers were at the dining facility setting up decorations until about 11 p.m. the night of Christmas Eve, said Harper, a Springfield, Va., native.
"We try to do whatever we can to make it feel like home," she added. "It's rewarding to do something to help the Soldiers."
In addition to the decorations, several officers and senior non-commissioned officers with the 4th Infantry Division Special Troops Battalion wore Christmas headgear as they served such foods as turkey, ham, dressing and cornbread to those Soldiers who came to eat.
Overall, the Soldiers, like Pfc. Dennis Bailey, Headquarters Support Company, STB, 4th Inf. Div., seemed to enjoy their Christmas meal.
"The meal is great," said Bailey. "I really like the corn bread dressing."
Eating Christmas dinner with two of his fellow Soldiers, Bailey, a petroleum supply specialist, appeared to recognize the importance of the friendships he has developed during the four weeks he has been deployed here.
"The Soldiers I work with are like family. That's why we came here to eat together," said Bailey, a Houston native.
To add to the holiday spirit at the DFAC, Buffalo, N.Y., Command Sgt. Maj. Gioia, command sergeant major for the 4th Inf. Div. and Multi-National Division - Baghdad, handed out several homemade care-package stockings to Soldiers while they were eating.
While the holidays can be a difficult time for Soldiers who are deployed, they seem to make the most of the festivities available to them.