Very cool move by the 1AD.
Also, please note that the G1 (Division Personnel Officer) estimates only about a third of 1AD soldiers will get the Germany or US based R&R.
If Saddam Hussein could have seen the goings-on Saturday at one of his Republican Guard officers clubs, he’d roll over in his grave.
Or cave. Or wherever.
U.S. soldiers jumped from the 10-meter diving platform, landing in the clear water of the pool. They stood in line for hamburgers and hot dogs. They listened to the 1st AD Rock Band play hard-driving rock ’n’ roll.
Some just sat in shorts and T-shirts, big smiles on their faces...
The 1st Armored Division Task Force opened Freedom Rest, a rest and recuperation facility in the heart of Baghdad and within the walls of one of Saddam’s former palaces.
The division expects to allow more than 1,000 soldiers a month to take three days and two nights at the center, which boasts a small post exchange, pool tables, a weight room, large-screen TVs showing AFN programming and an outdoor movie theater...
After the brief ceremony, Lt. Col. Dennis Slagter, the division’s personnel officer, said the division will get only about 35 percent of its 30,000 soldiers in Iraq through the current R&R program for visits back to their homes. So this facility provides another option to give troops a break...
The place had not been maintained well. Plus, it had appeared on the U.S. Air Force’s target list during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The engineers had no schematic diagrams of the facility, so plumbers and electricians were working blind, he said. Getting parts was also a problem.
“We wished we had a Lowe’s or Home Depot down the street,” he said.