US Troops Enjoy Two American Pastimes At A Fire Base In Iraq: Baseball And Shelling ISIS

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What's more American than fighting for freedom and baseball? Doing both at the same time, of course.


Photographs released by the Department of Defense show U.S. service members enjoying an improvised game of baseball with a gorgeous sunset in the background after a long day of raining 155mm shells from M777 and M109 Paladin howitzers from a remote fire base in Iraq. The photos were taken on June 23, 2018.

U.S. Army/Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Army Sgt. Juan Vallellanes-Ramos, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, prepares to bat during an improvised game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018. Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition partners provided fire support to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces as they continue Operation Roundup, the military offensive to accelerate the defeat of ISIS remnants in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region. 

Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and their Iraqi allies have been shelling ISIS locations in Syria as part of Operation Roundup, a major push to finally clear entrenched ISIS fighters from parts of the Euphrates River Valley and finally bring the U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve to a close.

The bombardment itself is taxing but, according to the Pentagon, quite fulfilling. "The most satisfying moment in the mission was when all three artillery units, two Iraqi and one U.S., executed simultaneous fires on a single target location," Task Force Steel operations officer  Maj. Kurt Cheeseman said in a DoD release.

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U.S. Army/Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Army Sgt. Juan Vallellanes-Ramos, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, prepares to bat during an improvised game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018. Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition partners provided fire support to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces as they continue Operation Roundup, the military offensive to accelerate the defeat of ISIS remnants in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region. 

U.S. Army/Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Army Sgt. Peter Scaion, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, swings an improvised bat during a fun game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018. Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition partners provided fire support to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces as they continue Operation Roundup, the military offensive to accelerate the defeat of ISIS remnants in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region. 

U.S. Army/Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Gilreath, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, swings an improvised bat during a fun game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018. Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition partners provided fire support to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces as they continue Operation Roundup, the military offensive to accelerate the defeat of ISIS remnants in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region. 

U.S. Army/Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Michael England, rounds the bases during a fun game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018. Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition partners provided fire support to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces as they continue Operation Roundup, the military offensive to accelerate the defeat of ISIS remnants in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region.

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Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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