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Beth Clemons (U.S. Army Security Assistance Command)
BAGHDAD - The holiday season in the United States is about spending time with family and celebrating the good fortunes of the year. Our Soldiers serving overseas and away from family often find their own ways to celebrate and bring a bit of home to the front lines.
Col. Sammie L. Hargrove, the U.S. Army Security Assitance Command's liason officer to Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq, is stationed in Baghdad and responsible for training and equipping the Iraqi Security Forces. Hargrove is also working to educate the Iraqi government on the processes and policies necessary to facilitate future security cooperation activities with the U.S., which will ensure a lasting relationship between the U.S. and Iraq.
The MNSTC-I group Hargrove works with celebrated Thanksgiving at the Forward Operating Base Union III where they served approximately 800 civilians and military service members a traditional holiday feast.
To prepare for Christmas, the team of about 15 held a tree lighting ceremony where each person placed a ornament on the tree, the group blessed it, sung several Christmas carols, ate cookies and drank eggnog. There will be a Christmas Day dinner as well.
"I thank God everyday for my family and friends back home, but I am glad to be here in Iraq this holiday season serving alongside my fellow countrymen. The Holidays are the reason for the season and we are help providing the Iraqi people with the ultimate gift....FREEDOM," said Hargrove.
Hargrove, a logistician with 23 years of active duty service, was born and raised in Sparta, Ga. He attended Tuskegee University in Alabama and is married to Regina Hargrove of Penn. Upon re-deployment, Hargrove will take brigade-level command of Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas.
USASAC implements approved U.S. Army security assistance programs, including Foreign Military Sales of defense articles and services to eligible foreign governments. The command manages approximately 4,400 FMS cases valued at more than $103 billion. USASAC also manages the Army's co-production program.