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Col. Lewis A. Craparotta, Regimental Combat Team 1, commanding officer, greets Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Multi-National Forces-Iraq commander on Thanksgiving at Camp Ramadi, Iraq Nov. 27. Odierno made several stops through the day to speak and eat with the troops.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jerry Murphy

MNF-I commander spends Thanksgiving with Ramadi troops

27 Nov 2008 | Lance Cpl. Jerry Murphy

(Nov. 27, 2008) – Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commanding general of Multinational Forces–Iraq, spent his Thanksgiving visiting troops at Camp Ramadi and other locations throughout Iraq, Nov. 27.

During his visit at Camp Ramadi, Odierno greeted Marines of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, and later ate Thanksgiving lunch with Marines from the regiment and Soldiers with Task Force Ramadi.

Odierno thanked the Marines and Soldiers for their service and said he is proud to be serving with them during this demanding time.

“I just want to say that I am proud to be able to serve with you, especially on days like this,” Odierno said to Marines at the 2nd Bn., 9th Marines’ headquarters. “Many people all over the United States are thankful for a lot of things but I’ll tell you one thing, they’re thankful for you and the job you do.”

Sgt. John F. Newhouse, a 36-year-old maintenance chief from Pittsburg with Headquarters and Support Company, 2nd Bn., 9th Marines, commented on what it meant to him and his Marines that Odierno took time to visit on the special day.

“He just stopped by to see how we were doing and it’s great that out of all the places he could have stopped on Ramadi, he came here to our shop. It’s really a great morale boost for the Marines,” Newhouse said.

Odierno left the Marines with some advice before departing for the camp’s dining facility. 

“It’s a different world in Iraq now than it was 18 months or even a year ago,” Odierno said. “What you need to do now is stay focused on what you’re doing, take care of your battle buddies, maintain standards and don’t get complacent.”

Odierno also made stops in Baghdad, at Forward Operating Base Iskan and at Contingency Operating Base Speicher.