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CJTF-HOA troops in Djibouti receive welcome break

By | | February 8, 2003

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Troops in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa got a break from the long work days and relentless dust here during a Morale, Welfare and Recreation-sponsored snorkeling day trip to the Moucha Islands Feb. 7.

A group of 41 Marines, airmen, sailors and soldiers packed their bags with swimwear and snacks and boarded the boat "Deli Valletta" headed for the small group of islands a few miles off Djibouti's coast.

Jeff Nemeth, the MWR representative here, said, "The command wanted to have this outing as a reward for the hard work the troops out here have put in."

The trip was a welcome retreat for many service members.

"This was the first (liberty) trip I've been able to get since I've been with the MEU (24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable)," said Sgt. Dave L. "We spend a lot of time out in the field, and we constantly stay busy."

Turner, of Cleveland, Ohio, and a few of his fellow service members, including Cpl. Ryan J. Gath, spent the day looking for stingrays in the blue-green water and inventing new dives off the side of the boat.

Gath, a native of Torrington, Conn., stated, "I had a really great time during the trip because we are in the field on and off for five days at a time. It was really great to get some time away from (Camp Lemonier)."

The getaway was free for the troops. The funds were donated by Better Opportunity for Single Service Members, which was created to help improve living conditions for deployed servicemen.
Because the trip was highly enjoyed, Nemeth hopes to coordinate snorkeling trips bimonthly.
"Hopefully, I can offer the trip more often in the future. It just depends on the command and what's going on in the world," he said.
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