TF 1-21 Infantry lights up Kirkuk for holidays
Story by Sean Kimmons Army News Service
In an effort to spread holiday cheer and ease some of the loneliness Soldiers may have from being deployed at this time of year, Task Force 1-21 Infantry Soldiers decorated their headquarters area with holiday cards and lights.
"Being the holiday season, we wanted to actually have a holiday card lane here like we do back on Schofield Barracks," said Sgt. Maj. Errol Snyder, operations sergeant major for TF 1-21 Inf. "So, we asked every company to make a card and then we made one for the battalion."
On Dec. 3, TF 1-21 Inf. held an official lightning ceremony to light up the five holiday cards. Each card is wrapped in holiday lights and includes a holiday saying with a picture.
An example of one is Alpha Company's card which says, "Happy Holidays." Below the saying is a picture of gators, the company's mascot, pulling Santa Claus in a High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle over an Iraqi village.
"We took photos of all the cards and sent them back to Schofield to let them know that we're keeping with the commanding general's guidance of having holiday cards," Snyder said.
Snyder hopes that one of the cards will win the annual holiday card contest.
Besides the cards, TF 1-21 Inf. extended their holiday spirit into its headquarters' building with a Christmas tree and a replicated fireplace that welcomes anyone who enters the building's front door.
"An 8-foot Christmas tree and a fireplace makes people feel that they are coming into a friendly, cheery home," Snyder said.
"We wanted to make our own little Christmas wonderland here," Snyder said about all the holiday decorations.
The TF 1-21 Inf. holiday decorations may not be as grand or widespread as the ones sprinkled throughout U.S. Army, Hawaii installations, but to many of the Soldiers it doesn't matter.
"It's a sense of home when we can actually enjoy these times although we are far away," said Spc. Nathaniel Escobedo, a communications specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Co., TF 1-21 Inf.
"It gives me a little warmth in the heart, every time I pass by them," Escobedo said.
Editor's note: Sgt. Sean Kimmons serves with the 25th ID (L) PAO.
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