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3RD HBCT holds Army Birthday Fun Run
Soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, start the five kilometer Army Birthday Fun Run June 14, at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq. - photo by Photo by Sgt. Natalie Rostek
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq — Soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division participated in a five kilometer Army Birthday Fun Run June 14, at FOB Hammer.
The run began at 6 a.m. as about 200 participants from the 3rd HBCT, the 557th Expeditionary Red Horse Squadron, the 789th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company, and contractors from Kellogg, Brown, and Root took their places on the starting line.
Finishing in first place overall was Sgt. Maj. Willie Washington, from Townsend, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 3rd HBCT Personnel Office.
“It’s just another day of (physical training),” Washington said modestly. Although he felt the run was motivating, he said he wished there could have been more participants.
First place for the females was Air Force Capt. Megan Leitch, from Fairfax, Va., director of operations for the 557th ERHS.
Although there were prizes, the five kilometer Army Birthday Fun Run was not a race, according to retired 1st Sgt. John Ellis Sr., from Richmond Hill, supervisor for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center.
“It was a great experience,” said Spc. Lemone Johnson, a Snow Mount, native, Company F, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment.
Johnson was one of the many soldiers to receive a t-shirt from the MWR center for being one of the first to sign up for the event. He also won an AT&T calling card for being the first soldier from 1-15 Inf. to cross the finish line. Race winners will receive specialized five kilometer Army Birthday Fun Run t-shirts expected to arrive to FOB Hammer in the near future.
Many soldiers found motivation and fulfillment during the event. Others saw it as a social event.
“It was fun, tiring, but fun,” Pfc. Kimberly Farrow, from San Antonio, Company C, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, said. “Seeing everybody else keep going motivated me to keep going.”
“It was a good chance to catch up with people I don't usually see on a daily basis,” Capt. Mike Mattessich, a Baldwinsville, N.Y., native, Headquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, said.
The important thing was that fun run gave soldiers something to strive for, according to 1st Sgt. Tony Williams, from New Orleans, senior noncommissioned officer for Company C, 203rd BSB,
“They know the Army is getting older just like we are getting older,” he said.
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