Christmas in the FOB
By MCpl Conway Eady
8 Feb 2009
There wasn't any snow this year for Christmas but that didn't keep Santa away from FOB Ma’Sum Ghar. Boxes of goodies for the soldiers of A sqn were given out on Christmas Eve. The funny thing was that Santa didn't know what anyone wanted, so he gave all the solders the same thing! The morale and welfare packages provided by the MFRC’s Op SANTA were full of useful items for the soldiers away from home during the holidays.
On Christmas Eve the Sqn put on a hearty BBQ. The soldiers were all lined up waiting for their steaks and waiting for their rum rations, when Santa and his reindeer arrived. But Santa wasn't riding on a sleigh; he was riding in a gator, and his reindeer weren't really reindeer; they were soldiers from 3rd Troop! Santa, or MCpl Jason Helliwell as we know him, sat on his gator while the Sqn took pictures with him. The BBQ was a great morale boost for the Sqn.
On the night of Christmas Eve there were finger foods served at the mess and the Sqn gathered for some Christmas cheer. You can never keep a tanker away from good chicken wings! They just didn't have any gravy for dipping sauce... Spirits and morale were high as soldiers from 1st Tp, lead by Cpl Lawrence Heisz, marched into mess the in their “Christmas uniforms”: antlers, headlamps as “Rudolph noses” and the same “Never Quit” T-shirts from the morale packages.
Although the night belonged to all of us, it was really brightened up by 2 Troop. Led by WO Troy Cleveland, 2 Troop managed to light up the FOB by dressing up one of their tanks like a Christmas tree. How the FOB didn’t get rocketed that night is still a mystery. Unfortunately, a padre could not make it out to the FOB for Christmas. However, a Christmas Eve service was still conducted at the mess hall by Capt Jack Nguyen.
Christmas Day started off with a ball hockey tournament organized by Lt Tyler Peitzsche and 2 Troop. Maj Ian McDonnell dropped the ball on the opening faceoff and the tournament was off to a start. Despite playing on gravel and using a mud wall, HESCO bastions, and concrete barriers as rink-boards, the ball hockey tournament was a great success. The Officers and Sr NCOs of the Sqn replaced the soldiers on camp defence and security tasks to afford them a well deserved break for the holidays.
Christmas Day was topped off by a great feast prepared by the kitchen staff at FMG. Later that evening, soldiers from SHQ, led by MCpl Keary McAtasney, went carolling around the Sqn lines wearing festive outfits. Too bad for SHQ it was a cold night.
Although soldiers from A Sqn were away from their families this year during Christmas, they were here with their second family: each other.