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Deployed Soldiers Dedicate Dining Facility to Fallen Comrade

By Army Sgt. Jerry Saslav
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WAR EAGLE, Iraq, Nov. 17, 2008 – The memory of a fallen comrade lives on, thanks to soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

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From left, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Kevin Gregory, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Troy Otto, an Iraqi army officer, and an Iraqi interpreter known as "Eminem" cut a cake Nov. 16, 2008, to dedicate the opening of the Maj. Mark Rosenberg Dining Facility at Forward Operating Base War Eagle in Baghdad. Eminem lost a leg in the attack that killed Rosenberg. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jerry Saslav
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The soldiers commemorated the opening yesterday of the Maj. Mark Rosenberg Dining Facility. About 75 people gathered for the ceremony here.

“We dedicate this facility with the name of one who gave of himself,” said Army Maj. Chip Nicholas, 3rd BCT chaplain. “We pray that this occasion will bring honor to his memory.”

Rosenberg, a native of Fort Carson, Colo., was killed when a bomb struck his vehicle April 8. He was serving as chief of a military transition team with an Iraqi army unit.

“[He was] the type of soldier you want in your unit,” said Army Lt. Col. Kevin Gregory, Rosenberg’s commanding officer.

Three other people were in the vehicle with Rosenberg that day. His interpreter, known as “Eminem,” lost a leg in the explosion.

“Major Rosenberg … he was a funny man; we always laugh,” said Eminem, who attended the dedication ceremony.

Rosenberg was Jewish; Eminem is a Sunni Muslim.

“He [Rosenberg] tried to do his best, and he respected the Muslims,” said Eminem. “He was a very good man; he had a big, big heart.”

The new dining facility is a fitting tribute to Rosenberg, said Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Pena, cooking supervisor.

“The diners love it. The kitchen is almost state-of-the-art compared to other [forward operating bases] and [other] sites in Iraq,” Pena said.

The new building is 60 feet wide by 90 feet long and can comfortably fit 200 people. The kitchen, serving areas and dining sections are in the same building for the first time; before, they were in two separate buildings and a tent.

New equipment also was added for the military chefs.

“We actually have tilt grills, deep-fat fryers, flat tops (grills) … we’re improving every month,” Pena said.

Diners now have the choice of a main line or a short-order line at lunch and dinner, along with separate salad and sandwich bars.

“We have the equipment and the facilities to do special meals, like Italian night and soul food night,” Pena said.

“We have a minimal staff. The soldiers who work in here are going above and beyond,” Pena said. “We can feed the soldiers, … get the morale up and go home happy.”

(Army Sgt. Jerry Saslav serves in Multinational Division Baghdad’s 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

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Related Sites:
Multinational Force Iraq
Multinational Corps Iraq

Click photo for screen-resolution imageU.S. Army Spc. Daniel Cyr, a dining facility cook, cracks a lobster tail Nov. 16, 2008, as he helps prepare a special meal to dedicate the opening of the Maj. Mark Rosenberg Dining Facility at Forward Operating Base War Eagle in Baghdad. The new facility was named for Maj. Mark Rosenberg, who was killed when a bomb struck his vehicle April 8, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jerry Saslav  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageU.S. Sgt. 1st Class Richard Pena, dining facility cooking supervisor, cracks a lobster tail Nov. 16, 2008, as he prepares a special meal to dedicate the opening of the Maj. Mark Rosenberg Dining Facility at Forward Operating Base War Eagle in Baghdad. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jerry Saslav  
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