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Enjoying plates of Iraqi cuisine, Marines with 2nd Platoon, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5 and an Iraqi family eat together during a feast the platoon was invited to attend in Al Anbar province, Iraq, May 13. During the feast, the men and the children gathered with the Marines to enjoy some rice, bread and a variety of meats and vegetables. The Iraqis were sharing their culture with 2nd Platoon, which is considered a high honor in their society.

Photo by Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson

2nd LAR Marines feast with Iraqis

13 May 2008 | Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson

The hard work of maintaining security and stability in the western region of Al Anbar province was recognized by an Iraqi family as they invited Coalition forces in their home for dinner May 13.

Marines with 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5 were rewarded with food on the table and a welcoming embrace by this Iraqi family for a job well done while conducting operations.

“Coalition forces are our friends and our neighbors. They make our style of life better and better each day,” said Sheik Latief Najif Faraj, the sheik of the household and the area around Rutbah, Iraq. “Because of them, the safety and security is better than ever.”

2nd Platoon was conducting area patrols between the cities of Rutbah and Akashat, marking where each house was and conversing with the members of the households. The Marines were conducting a normal day’s mission and were invited, unexpectedly to dinner by a generous family.

“Things have changed out here now to where people are more welcoming and giving,” said Cpl. Steven C. Lindsey, a line mechanic with 2nd Platoon. “This kind of bond will make succeeding units able to have the same opportunities.”

During the feast, the men and children gathered with the Marines to enjoy some rice, bread and a variety of meats and vegetables. The Iraqis were sharing the culture with 2nd Platoon which is considered a high honor in their society.

“I think the dinner signified everyone working together for one reason,” said Cpl. John H. Jenness, a scout team leader with 2nd Platoon. “It was different people from different places joining together to accomplish the security of the country.”

The platoon conducts these operations everyday, along with the rest of Charlie Co. assisting the Iraqi Border Patrol by chasing down smugglers and threats that find their way through the cracks. The Marines ensure the bond with the citizens remains intact by constantly visiting them and keeping the area secure.

“I love being able to communicate with the people and interact with the kids of Iraq,” said Jenness, 23, from Wilmington, N.C. “It lets them know that we are here to help.”

The Marines will continue their missions of providing security and service for the Iraqi citizens of western Al Anbar Province until the day they re-deploy to the United States fall 2008.

“We have made a good relationship with the people out here,” said Lindsey, 21, from Jefferson, Md. “We are going on more missions to keep it.”


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