Politics & Policy

Thanksgiving Away

An American holiday in Iraq's Al Anbar Province.

Like their fellow servicemen back home, U.S. troops in Iraq enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, and in most cases the meal was served by officers and senior non-commissioned officers.

At Al Asad (the largest American base in the volatile Al Anbar Province), for instance, and at Husaybah on the Syrian border; Marines, sailors, and soldiers with Regimental Combat Team 7 feasted on turkey, ham, crab legs, prime rib, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, a variety of casseroles, pies, cakes, and any other treats the cooks and bakers could come up with.

At Combat Outpost Rawah, also in Al Anbar, Marines and sailors with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner and received a visit from Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., commanding general, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, who wished them a “Happy Thanksgiving,” praised their work, and urged them to keep up the good fight.

Following are a few pictures forwarded to National Review Online by Marine Staff Sergeant James M. Goodwin (the pictures were shot by Goodwin, Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes, and Lance Corporal Nathaniel F. Sapp) –

Marine Lt. Col. David E. Ducey serves Thanksgiving dinner to the troops at Al Asad (Photo by SSgt. Jim Goodwin).

U.S. Marines in the chow line at Al Asad on Thanksgiving Day (Photo by SSgt. Jim Goodwin).

Marine Lance Cpl. Lawrence Lee, from Colonial Heights, Va., seasons steaks on the grill at Combat Outpost Rawah (Photo by Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Sapp).

A Marine looks for a seat with his buddies after loading up his tray at Combat Outpost Rawah (Photo by Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Sapp).

U.S. Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., commanding general, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, talking with Marine Lt. Col. Austin E. Renforth, commander of the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, at Combat Outpost Rawah on Thanksgiving Day (Photo by Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Sapp).

Marine Private First Class Manuel R. Ponce, from Paramount, Calif., with a full plate on Thanksgiving Day in Husaybah on the Syrian border (Photo by Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes).

Marine Sgt. Maj. Jimmy D. Mashburn talking with a few basketball-playing Marines stationed on the Syrian border (Photo by Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes).

— A former U.S. Marine infantry leader, W. Thomas Smith Jr. writes about military issues and has covered conflict in the Balkans and on the West Bank. He is the author of five books, and his articles appear in a variety of publications.

A former U.S. Marine infantry leader, W. Thomas Smith Jr. writes about military issues. He has covered war in the Balkans, on the West Bank, in Iraq, and in Lebanon. ...

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