367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
IMEF Public Affairs
Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq (July 2003)— For the battle-hardened Marines and soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, coming back to Camp Get Some, Iraq at the end of a long day of guarding the city normally means getting some chow and pulling a guard duty, reading a book, or just going to sleep.
But on the evening of July 27, the troops came back to a surprise concert put on by the Army V Corps’ rock band, Government Property.
Beginning a seven-week tour of every major troop installation in Iraq, the nine-member band based in Manheim, Germany showed a diverse range during the interactive
concert, including songs from Motown artists, AC/DC, Eminem, and Garth Brooks. The band also invited several Marines from the battalion to join in by singing, dancing, and playing the guitar and drums.
In order for the band to take their requests, the Marines had to defeat lead singer Army Staff Sgt. Eric Burger of Davis, California in an arm wrestling match. The first match went to the Army, but the second bout scored Warren, Michigan resident Cpl. Justin Hibbs, a member of L Company, who requested the Garth Brooks song "Friends in Low Places."
Burger said the shows are as rewarding for the band as they are for the audiences.
"We are glad to be able to perform for the troops," said Burger. "We know it is tough out here, and we like that we can lift their spirits."
Judging by the audience reaction, spirits of the Marines and soldiers of Camp Get Some were indeed high.
"I was up there playing for my books and I feel like I am still there," said a smiling Los Angeles native Lance Cpl. Fabian Miranda of L Company, after playing along during one of the songs.
During an extended rendition of the Commodores’ "Brick House," the band invited three Marines up to the stage to dance for their cheering comrades.
"I haven’t felt my legs move like that in a long time," said Pfc. J.D. Singleton, a Mustang, Oklahoma native also attached to L Company.
In addition to entertaining the Marines, soldiers and sailors at the camp, the band sent a clear reminder to the troops of why they were called to duty by playing several patriotic songs that referred to their service and to the events of September 11, 2001.
In the end, the audience at Camp Get Some appreciated the three-hour concert presented by the Army.
"I like that they are Army," said Pfc. Jeffrey Lavonte, a member of L Company and resident of Gray, Maine. "I am a team player and like their talent for music."
Lance Cpl. Tim Estes, also of Gray, Maine, and who came into the Marine Corps with Lavonte under the buddy program, said the concert was a nice change of pace.
"For what we can get out here, this is great," said Estes. "After being on patrol all day, I was not expecting to come back to a rock band."
ContributorSgt. Troy Chatwin
Chatwin is a soldier of Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade.