« New sheik takes stand against AQI | Main | Marine thanks the Corps with service »

Marines relax with sports

COMBAT OUTPOST AKASHAT, Iraq —
The stresses of a constant operational tempo give Marines the need for something to balance out the tension. Some Marines have found a way to relax by participating in outdoor sporting activities.

http://www.marines.mil/units/marforpac/imef/1stmardiv/Pages/Marinesrelaxwithsports.aspx

7/26/2008 By Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson, Regimental Combat Team 5

Marines with Delta Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd LAR Bn., Regimental Combat Team 5 take available time to relieve stress with exercises ranging from driving golf balls to playing touch football.

Delta Company is a reserve light-armored infantry element attached to 2nd LAR Bn. in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“We’re just having a little fun whenever we have time off from missions everyday,” said Cpl. Phil E. Guernsey, 22, from Centerville, Va., a vehicle commander with Delta Co. “It’s nice to find something that brings a taste of home and be exercising at the same time.”

During the activities, the Marines gather to play football, basketball, horse shoes, ultimate Frisbee, and golf. The equipment was either brought to Iraq or sent to the Marines by their families. According to the Marines, the activities help pass the time and keep morale up in their small combat outpost in western Al Anbar province.

“The activities make you feel better because you’re with your fellow Marines,” said Lance Cpl. Scott J. Baish, 22, a scout with Delta Co. from Smithburg, Md. “Whenever you’re exercising, you go into your own world where the stresses melt away.”

The Marines play these games as often as they can. Although the exercise is a paramount factor in the activities, the service members utilize the experience as an opportunity to bond and maintain relationships despite the hectic schedule.

“It’s good for the Marines to relax, establish camaraderie and hang out with others you haven’t seen in a while because of the tempo,” said Sgt. Will Taylor, 24, a light-armored vehicle mechanic with Delta Co. from King George, Va. “It’s downright fun, and that causes Marines to unite through friendly competition.”

Operations won’t cease for these Marines until they return to the United States, but with activities like these, they will remain vigilant.