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Coalition Forces celebrate Christmas in Ramadi
By Sgt. KaRonda Fleming, RFCT PAO
Dec 26, 2006 - 5:44:28 AM
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Santa has been seen touring various bases and combat outposts throughout Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He is seen here in a convoy as the gunner of a Humvee. (Photo by Sgt. KaRonda Fleming, 1st Armored Division, 1st Brigade PAO)
Blackanthem Military News, AR RAMADI, Iraq - Santa made a surprise visit to troops serving here in Iraq during the holiday season.

He can be found on a convoy as the gunner of a Humvee throughout the day, spreading holiday cheer to everyone.

Midnight Mass

More than 100 servicemembers and civilians attended the Roman Catholic midnight mass in Memorial Chapel on Camp Ramadi Dec. 25.

Navy Chaplain, Father Dennis Rocheford, of Worcester, Mass., said this is our Christmas, our midnight mass, which is Christ’s mission that we celebrate.

"We can’t do it alone or make it by ourselves," he said. "We are a people who know there is a room at the end."

Biblical scriptures were read by servicemembers, including Isaiah 9:1-16, Titus 2:11-14, and Luke 2:2-24, and hymns were sung to add to the celebration.

The service ended with the song "Joy to the World" as a reminder that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Christmas Carolers

The Ready First Christmas Carolers visited many troops of the 1st Armored Division, 1st Brigade, hard at work on Christmas Eve on Camp Ramadi.

The carolers visited the Headquarters, operations centers, the dining facility and "Charlie Med" medical facilities.

The carolers sang from among 20 well known tunes throughout the night, accompanied by Capt. Patrick S. Vankirk, the assistant Brigade S1 here with the 1st Armored Division, 1st Brigade, on his saxophone.

Vankirk, who has played the saxophone for 11 years, said it makes him happy to know he could bring back fond memories for the servicemembers here.

Christmas Eve Party

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians also participated in the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division Christmas Party held here Christmas Eve.

A special meal served in the dining faciliy included steak, hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, beans, and French fries, as well as a variety of sodas and plenty of "near beer".

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS:

 
1st Lt. Patrick W. Patton reads over the program just before the Midnight Mass Service. A native of Lincoln, Neb., Patton is here in Iraq as the company executive officer for HHC 501st Forward Support Battalion in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. (Photo by Sgt. KaRonda Fleming, RFCT PAO)
Navy Chaplain, Father Dennis Rocheford speaks to the congregation of more than 100 servicemembers and civilians during a Roman Catholic Midnight Mass in Memorial Chapel here Dec. 25. (Photo by Sgt. KaRonda Fleming, RFCT PAO)

Servicemembers and civilians held candles as they sang the hymnal "The First Noel," during Ar Ramadi, Iraq%u2019s Midnight Mass Service on Christmas morning. (Photo by Sgt. KaRonda Fleming, RFCT PAO)

Soldiers of the Ready First Brigade sang Christmas carols to troops working on the night before Christmas. (Photo by Sgt. KaRonda Fleming, 1st Armored Division, 1st Brigade PAO)

Capt. Patrick S. Vankirk, the assistant Brigade S1 with the 1st Armored Division, 1st Brigade, played a saxophone accompaniment to the Ready First Carolers during a Christmas Eve caroling event. The carolers sang for many Soldiers throughout the brigade on Camp Ramadi. (Photo by Sgt. KaRonda Fleming, 1st Armored Division, 1st Brigade PAO)

Command Sgt. Maj. Frank L. Graham, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, sergeant major, and Sgt. Riley, 1st AD, 1st BDE look at a banner was sent to the unit from the "Lil%u2019 Hammers" wishing everyone in Ramadi, Iraq a merry Christmas. (Photo by Sgt. KaRonda Fleming, RFCT PAO)


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