Garrison MWR organizes first-ever multinational soccer tournament in Romania
Cedric Hardy, right, kicks a soccer ball between games of the first-ever Multinational Soccer Tournament at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air base, Romania, April 9 (Photo Credit: Oana Copaceanu) VIEW ORIGINAL

The soccer field on Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, is buzzing. Nineteen military teams from five different countries on the pitch make the venue look like the start of an MWR-organized World Cup, with a world championship at stake.

Behind an event of such a big scale -- 204 participants and more than 400 spectators -- stood an amazing Army Support Activity-Black Sea MWR Team, assisted by 10 equally amazing volunteers. The local team, Stephanie Brown and Elena Nisiparu, had help from Cedrick Hardy, an augmentee from U.S. Army Garrison Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany.

Hardy arrived in Romania at the end of February to assist the MWR team in delivering the best service as the post swelled with an increased number of military forces from the U.S. and NATO partner countries.

Born in Louisiana, Hardy has been in civil service for more than 19 years. An assistant facility manager with USAG Rhineland-Pfalz, Hardy volunteered to come to Romania for two months. He joined 10 others after activities ramped up here.

“I was told that help was needed, and I love to help where I can because I love supporting the troops as much as I can,” Hardy said.

“I was told that help was needed, and I love to help where I can because I love supporting the troops as much as I can,” Hardy said.

Hardy added that helping the Soldiers and those using MWR equipment and participating in MWR events is what really counts.

”Helping my fellow MWR colleagues offer the best possible MWR activities and events, and organizing the first Army Support Activity-Black Sea multinational soccer tournament for the U.S. and NATO troops has really made this time worthwhile.”

While NATO partners are working together at ASA Black Sea, when it came to the tournament, there could only be one winner, with a team from Romania taking the title. But the hundreds who enjoyed the MWR and Hardy-led effort all came away with a “W.”

With the tournament ended, Hardy has redeployed to the Novo Selo Training Area, to bring that same MWR energy and effort he demonstrated here to the multinational forces in Bulgaria.

And his help was greatly appreciated by everyone, colleagues and clients alike. Elena Nisiparu, Hardy’s MWR teammate, welcomed his enthusiasm and energy.

“Cedrick has been a great help for us so we can provide the same level of service to an increased number of clients. He was always there for anyone who needed assistance, and brought in great positive energy,” Nisiparu said. “I had a lot to learn from him. He will be missed when he goes back to USAG Rhineland-Pfalz.”