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1 taste of BBQ on Sun May 24, 2009 7:04 pm

gypsy


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http://www.goodnewsdaily.com/show_story.php?ID=9232



BBQ Gives Soldiers Taste of Home Print E-mail
Monday, 02 March 2009
Louis Hunter, a Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff member, checks the ribs and brisket on the grill at the barbecue cook-off at the East Mayor's Cell on Camp Liberty, Iraq, Feb. 22, 2009. Photo by Spc. Laura Johnson, Multi-National Division Baghdad.
Louis Hunter, a Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff member, checks the ribs and brisket on the grill at the barbecue cook-off at the East Mayor's Cell on Camp Liberty, Iraq, Feb. 22, 2009. Photo by Spc. Laura Johnson, Multi-National Division Baghdad.
BAGHDAD — Camp Liberty’s East Life Support Area (LSA) Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) center recently hosted a barbecue cook-off, giving Soldiers an opportunity to relax, enjoy some good food and visit with fellow Soldiers who are usually on the move.

Unfortunately, four of the five teams who signed up for the event weeks in advance cancelled due to unexpected missions. Still, the MWR staff continued with the cook-off, which eventually evolved into a cookout.

“We’re still going to barbecue, instead of it being a contest, we’ll turn it into a cookout for the Soldiers,” said Garna Patrick, an East LSA MWR staff member from Houston. “It will give them something to look forward to when they return tonight.”

The MWR staff began preparation in the early morning, setting up several grills so they could cook more food at one time for the anticipated crowd. They connected speakers for the music, iced down the drinks and fired up the grills.

“We are trying to make it as close as possible to a Sunday afternoon at home,” said Patrick.

The eclectic mixture of music and the smell of mesquite wood burning under the meat on the grills attracted Soldiers from all over the area. Several Soldiers stopped and inquired if the barbecue was open to all.

“I’m glad they stopped, it gives us a bigger turnout,” said Tanla Roundtree, coordinator for East LSA MWR, who is also from Houston. “Sometimes the easiest way to get information out is through word of mouth.”

As the barbecue started winding down, some of the Soldiers who initially entered the contest returned from their mission and were able to sit and eat a plate of ribs, brisket, and steak.

“These events such as the cook-offs …give the Soldiers a chance to relax and talk with us,” said Hunter. “It’s stressful to go outside the wire day in and day out, that’s what the MWR is here for.”

(By Spc. Laura Johnson, Multi-National Division - Baghdad)

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