Marines from Headquarters & Service Company participated in the Salerno Day athletic competition. — Source: Sentinel (Vol 4, No 4): Mar 05, 2005
Salerno Day brings service members together
By Staff Sgt. Bradley Rhen
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan – Service members here got a break from the daily grind March 5 to participate in a day of sporting events.
Dubbed “Salerno Day,” the event included competitions in basketball, volleyball, weight lifting, soccer, horseshoes, dominoes, tug-of-war, as well as a stress shoot competition and an iron man and iron woman competition.
The event was designed to allow all the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen here to get together for one day and enjoy friendly competitions and build esprit de corps, said Sgt. Maj. Eugene Brewer, operations sergeant major for Combined Task Force Thunder.
“It was a good relaxing day,” Brewer said at the conclusion of the day. “Everybody got to wear PTs and do some hooah events.”
Marine Staff Sgt. Ignacio Ramirezlazos, a member of Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment thought it was a great event.
“It was good to get a break from work and be able to enjoy ourselves,” he said.
“I work the night shift, so it’s great to be out here and be out of the office.”
In addition to being able to relax a bit and escape the monotony of everyday life on the FOB, was also a chance for people who normally don’t associate with one another to hang out a little.
“How often does the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines all compete on the same pitch downrange?” said Air Force Master Sgt. John Knipe, a tactical air controller with the 25th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron.
“A lot of people in the Navy don’t talk to a lot of people in the Air Force, and a lot of people in the Air Force don’t talk to a lot of Marines a lot of time,” Knipe added. “So this is a real unique day for people to speak to other branches of service and find out some things about another branch that you might have never known.”
Knipe competed in the iron man competition, and although he finished 14th out of 45, he thinks age played a factor.
“I’m 39, so if there was a 39 and over category, I’d be a winner,” he said.
Brewer lauded everyone who competed, especially those who took part in the iron man and iron woman competitions.
“The iron man and iron woman competition was a true testament to intestinal fortitude,” he said. “They dug it out five miles, with four events in between – rigorous, testing events.”
Following the competitions, there was an awards ceremony and all winners received certificates and commanders coins.