BAGHDAD - For the deployed Soldiers of the 225th Engineer Brigade, headquartered in Pineville, La., an Easter tradition held on the popular holiday in Louisiana made a debut on Camp Liberty April 12.
The tradition known as 'egg pocking' has its roots when some of the first French settlers brought it to Louisiana more than 200 years ago and the 225th's Soldiers jumped at the chance to carry on that favorite holiday pastime which is essentially an egg-tapping competition.
Contestants in the competition, all Soldiers from 225th Eng. Bde. currently deployed to Iraq, held hard boiled eggs in their hand and using a variety of techniques, they used their egg to tap the top of another contestant's egg until the egg cracked. Whoever's egg did not crack was declared the winner and proceeded in the tournament.
In some Louisiana communities, the winner of an egg pocking competition might receive a $100 prize or more.
Although there was no money prize in this competition, the Louisiana Soldiers didn't seem to mind.
"I've fought eggs my whole life," said the winner of the competition, Sgt. Maj. Tommy Brouillette, of Pineville, La. "Pocking eggs really brought the Cajun culture (to Baghdad), which brought me back home. It was like being at home with my family, but here with my 225th family. I had a blast."
Soldiers participated in an Easter egg hunt, egg race, egg eating contest, water-balloon toss and of course pocking egg contest. Decorations, candy and prize baskets were made by the unit's family readiness group and family members who try to make the holidays served while on deployment as enjoyable as possible.
"Without the support and generosity of our families and friends it would be impossible to have an Easter celebration in Iraq," said event organizer Sgt. Maj. Raymond Lavespere of Tioga, La. "We are unable to obtain things like decorations, plastic eggs and Easter candies here in theater. With just a little coordination within a couple of weeks, we had more supplies than we ever expected."