FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq - Leaders from 2nd "Spartan" Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division celebrated togetherness, brotherhood and sisterhood during a prayer luncheon held at FOB Marez dining facility, Nov. 20.

The prayer luncheon, which was the first hosted by the Spartan Brigade since their arrival in Iraq, gave unit leaders the opportunity to give thanks during the holidays and to celebrate unity of service.

"Even though some of us wear different patches on our shoulders, we share the same uniform; that is what makes us a Family," said Col. Charles E. A. Sexton, commander, 2nd HBCT, and keynote speaker for the event.

Colonel Sexton reinforced to all in attendance that every Soldier is a blessing, regardless of faith.
"Remind yourself and your Soldiers how much of a blessing they are, and to use the power which is bestowed onto you as a leader for good things," he said.

Colonel Sexton also told the crowd of the significance of the month of November to all who wear the 3rd ID Marne patch.

"November is very special to the 3rd Infantry Division: it is the birth month of the 3rd ID; it was the month that saw the end of World War I, as well as marked the month the 3rd Division crossed the Rhine River in World War II," said Col. Sexton.

Spartan Brigade Chaplain, Maj. Sid Taylor, said that having prayer luncheons were especially important for the unit leaders to provide spiritual fitness to help leaders make decisions.

"The prayer luncheon is another tool that chaplains can use to reinforce unit leaders with the spiritual fitness and fortitude to help leaders during the decision process and make sound decisions for the Soldiers," Chap. Taylor said.

The monthly luncheon, open to all servicemembers of FOB Marez, features prayer and music provided by the Veterans Chapel Praise Band, said Chaplain Taylor.