AL ASAD, Iraq -- Service members deployed to Al Asad, Iraq, gathered at the base Morale Welfare and Recreation building to watch the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts battle for the Lombardi trophy during Super Bowl XLI, Feb. 5.
Football lovers all over the United States celebrate the Super Bowl as an unofficial holiday each year enjoying a day of parties which include a smorgasbord of food and beverages.
Although deployed service members may not be able to enjoy most of the festivities they would if at home, the MWR center provided a place for those hardcore football fans willing to stay up until 2 a.m. for the pre-game party and the game. The MWR offered a variety of free food and drinks, all provided by the base dining facility. Most of the food was eaten before the game started at 2:30 a.m.
“We were not expecting this big of a turnout,” said Jenn Vess, Al Asad Air Base MWR coordinator. “We were shooting for approximately 100 people, but at our peak time we had approximately 250 people which is a really good turnout.”
To make for the most entertaining experience, MWR set up three big screen TV’s on opposite walls with plenty of seating in between.
“Our main goal tonight was to set up as many TV’s as possible so that there was a club type feel with couches and tables with plenty of elbow room,” said Vess. “We wanted to make a relaxing environment for the service members.”
No matter which team made a play, service members from both sides of the room made a ruckus, standing and cheering for one team and shouting at the other. By the end of the night no matter which team they had pulled for, every service member was able to get their mind away from work and onto something they really enjoyed.
“Some service members went out to MWR for the chow; some went for the game, but some went out for the company and to get away from work and come together as units and as friends,” said Pvt. Brandon Rowser, a stinger missile gunner with 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
“My favorite part of the party was being at MWR relieving some stress and getting away from work,” said Rowser.