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Lance Cpl. Salvador A. Renderos, 20, a radio operator with Headquarters and Services Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, from Los Angeles, patrols through the city of Haditha, Iraq, June 2. Marines with Headquarters and Services Co. patrolled to the Haditha City Council to observe the meeting. Along the way, the Marines stopped at a city councilman's home to eat breakfast.

Photo by Cpl. Erik Villagran

3/4 Marines enjoy Iraqi breakfast

1 Jun 2008 | Cpl. Erik Villagran

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, were invited by a local city council member to have breakfast before attending a city council meeting.

Marines with Headquarters and Services Company, 3rd Bn., 4th Marines, were welcomed by Dhayif Kamal Abd-Al-Qadir, a city councilman here, with an array of food to feast on.

“The meetings we have are good,” Abd-Al-Qadir said. “We talk about what’s going on and the security of Haditha.”

Marines patrolled to the councilman’s home and some of the Marines were posted for security. The rest of the Marines entered the house to discuss issues in the community and to enjoy breakfast.

Abd-Al-Qadir and Marines conversed about efforts being taken to keep Haditha safe and how the local elections are going. Midway through the conversation, a plethora of various dishes were brought out.  

Despite some initial hesitation by some, every Marine in the patrol dined on the Iraqi cuisine. They dipped their hobas, which is Iraqi bread, into yogurt, eggs and jelly.

Once the chow was finished, Marines continued their patrol to the city council meeting. Marines sat in on the gathering, which they attend every week.

“The main purpose of the patrol was to attend the city council meeting,” said Capt. David A. Shipley, 35, communications line of operations manager, 3rd Bn., 4th Marines, from Twentynine Palms, Calif. “We want to make sure the Haditha government is on track.”

Marines stood idly by while members of the committee passionately debated different topics. A translator filled the Marines in on the events occurring.

“It’s important that the meeting is Iraqi led and they come up with Iraqi solutions,” Shipley said. “If they can’t, then we’re there to steer them in the right direction.”

Although Marines try to let the Iraqi council formulate their own solutions, they attend to demonstrate to the people that Marines are there if needed.

“Our presence there helps us show the people that we’re still backing them up,” Shipley said. “Eventually, we’ll have to leave, but for now it shows them that we haven’t abandoned them.”