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Photo by Sgt. Matt Epright

BLT 3/8 kicks back after intense training

2 Oct 2007 | Sgt. Matt Epright

After weeks of intense combat training, the Marines and sailors of Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), took a well-deserved break, kicking back with some burgers and ballgames.

"Most of them have been training straight through for a couple of weeks,"said BLT 3/8's naval gunfire officer, Navy Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Wright, who organized the sporting events. "Everybody's getting the time to wind down, rest, and get some chow."

Each of the battalion's companies put together teams for three separate single-elimination tournaments; basketball, volleyball and softball. Though, not every game was quite so organized, said Wright.

"Some guys just got a ball, went out, kicked it around and played soccer,"he said.

While most of the Marines were competing for company bragging rights, a small group was firing up the charcoal and prepping the patties.

"Right after they started kicking off the softball games, we started grilling,"said BLT 3/8 cook, Lance Cpl. Justen Hill.

The Marine cooks spent what would have been their own downtime cooking the burgers and hotdogs to a crispy-edged perfection that was much appreciated by the Marines and sailors.

"The cooks; we always have a good, strong bond where we have fun while we work anyway,"said Hill "I don't look at it as working. It's helping out."

Even those Marines who weren't on the teams or cooking up the food had a good time just relaxing.

"It's nice to be able to have a breather; nice to sit down and watch a baseball game,"said artilleryman Lance Cpl. Jeffrey McBride.

Though most of them will be going right back out to train the next day, for one night they were glad for the change of pace.

"We've been training pretty hard, pretty consistently, going out to the desert,"said combat engineer Lance Cpl. Patrick McClintock. "So, it's nice to kind of kick back."

22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit