FORWARD OPERATING BASE HIT, Iraq -- With the closest thing to real Christmas trees being the palm groves lining the nearby Euphrates River and wind-driven sand replacing snow flurries, the Marine and sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) nevertheless celebrated the holiday season.
Calling Forward Operating Base Hit and combat outposts scattered throughout town of Hit (pronounced ‘heat’) their new home, the MEU spent Christmas day going about their normal activities; improving the security and services of their bases, standing watch and participating in patrols, and dealing with administrative matters.
Despite the unabated work, hints of holiday cheer were still injected into the daily routine. From clandestinely worn Santa hats to banners and wreaths hung on buildings and in the chow hall, the men and women of the MEU did their best to liven the holiday season spent far away from families and friends.
The 22nd MEU (SOC) consists of its Command Element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 2nd Marines, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 (Reinforced), and MEU Service Support Group 22. The MEU is currently deployed in Iraq’s Al Anbar province supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
For more information on the 22nd MEU (SOC)’s role in Operation Iraqi Freedom, visit the unit’s web site at http://www.22meu.usmc.mil.