Thankful in Djibouti
Thanksgiving Day at Camp Lemonnier offered personnel a feast, football and a visit from their leadership.
Members of flag football teams began an annual tradition in the first ever Thanksgiving Day Djibouti Bowl, November 28, 2008.
The Marines, Air Force, Army and Navy organized teams consisting of members from their respective services and competed in games throughout the day to determine the Djibouti Bowl champions.
Rear Admiral Philip Greene, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa commander, did the coin toss in the first game between the Army and Marines. The Army won the toss and the games began.
In the playoff games, the Marines held off the Army and the Air Force defeated the Navy. Before the championship game was played the camp took time to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast.
Admiral Greene spoke with the troops in the dining facility before the meal was served. He thanked PAE for the extravagant assortment of food and beautiful decorations then welcomed General William Kip Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who flew in to spend the holiday with the members of the forward operating location of his command.
Recognizing that the troops were away from their families, Ward said, "This holiday finds us away from home on Thanksgiving Day. While the distance may preclude us from being with our extended family, there are many local opportunities available to partake in the wonderful military tradition of sharing and serving on this day with our friends and adopted military and civilian family overseas. It also provides a chance to gain a different perspective on things for which we are thankful."
He added, "I am very thankful for each of you - Sailors, Airmen, Marines, coast Guardsmen, civilians, Interagency teammates, contractors and family members. I am also thankful to our friends and partners for the hospitality and warm reception they have provided U.S. Africa Command as an organization. The work we do every day on the continent of Africa in concert with Department of State and our interagency, international, and nongovernmental teammates is making a difference for the good for all of us while building capacity and fostering peace and security for the nations of the region."
Ward proceeded to carve the turkey and began serving the troops their Thanksgiving meals.
Later that evening the Djibouti Bowl commenced with the Army defeating the Navy for third place and the Marines claiming victory after the Air Force as the first Djibouti Bowl champions.