CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 1st Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment headquartered in Henderson, Tenn. participated in a St. Patrick's Day 5K fun run March 13 at Contingency Operating Location Q-West, Iraq.

"I used the run as a jumping off point to getting myself back to where I need to be and to feel better. Sometimes you have to hurt before you can feel better. Plus, it's a way to break up the routine of my job as [an operations officer] for 1/278th ACR," said Maj. Warner A. Ross, from Bolivar, Tenn., who turned 46 on race day.

As a former center for Ole Miss, Ross knows what discipline and dedication to physical fitness really means.

Being a Soldier, fitness is paramount to mission capability. It can also be an escape or a way of building morale within a unit. With 25 runners, Bayonet Troop from Clarksville, Tenn., had the largest turn out of Soldiers for the 1/278th ACR. Even their guidon bearer, Spc. Brandon Solomon, participated while carrying his troop's guidon.

"I ran in support of our S3, Maj. Ross; it was his birthday. I also ran in support of the MWR here at Q-West. Since we have only just arrived, I want them to see we are here and want to participate," said 1st Sgt. Larry T. Petty, the senior noncommissioned officer for HHT 1/278th ACR.

With an Easter fun run just around the corner, 1/278th ACR, Cobra Squadron, will have another opportunity to ditch their spurs for running shoes and show out on race day.