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Restaurant opens for 3rd ID troops in Iraq
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FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq -- The recently-refurbished Oasis restaurant opened its doors here on Feb. 11.
The owner, Adel Abbas, was one of several original vendors invited to open a shop at FOB Hammer in the summer of 2007.
Using his own resources and workers, Abbas renovated a shelled-out administration building once used by Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard.
The original Oasis opened in August, providing soldiers with a small menu and various items such as cigarettes and sodas. Since that time, Abbas has turned the adjacent building into a more permanent restaurant.
The new area has marble-tiled floors and walls and double the original seating capacity. In addition, the menu was expanded to cater to 3rd HBCT Soldiers.
"I think it looks outstanding," said Lt. Col. Kelly Lawler, from Monticello, N.Y., commander of the 203rd Brigade Support Battalion. "He has taken that old shelled-out building and turned it into a great facility for our Soldiers to use."
The restaurant prepares traditional Iraqi food like falafel, humus and freshly baked flat bread, but also caters to more American favorites like hamburgers and pizza.
"The food is pretty good," said Sgt. Michael Cowan, from Nashville, Tenn., 489th Civil Affairs Battalion, a reserve unit from Knoxville, Tenn., currently attached to the 3rd HBCT. "The ambiance was a lot better than I expected."
The opening of the restaurant provides 3rd HBCT soldiers another dining option, said 1st Lt. John Enfinger, officer in charge of the mayor cell at FOB Hammer, adding that Soldiers at FOB Hammer can expect more things in the future.
"We will continue exploring every avenue to increase morale and welfare for the Soldiers of FOB Hammer," Enfinger, from New Brockton, Ala., said.
The 203rd BSB is assigned to the 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March.

Hutto is writer for the 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. PAO.
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