View Full Version : Vikings gather for field mess

08-11-04, 06:23 AM
Vikings gather for field mess
Submitted by: MCAS Iwakuni
Story Identification #: 20048615214
Story by Lance Cpl. Lydia Davey

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (August 6, 2004) -- One hundred seventy-nine Marines from Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 gathered July 29, at the Club Iwakuni Ballroom for their first field mess since arriving here.

The evening's events included awards, dinner, a brief presentation of the era in which the unit was born, fines and toasts.

"The field mess provides a great opportunity to get all of the Marines together and celebrate what makes Marines unique," said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Webber, VMFA(AW)-225 quality assurance chief. "It allows us to pay homage to those who have gone before us, and pass traditions on to newer Marines."

One such tradition involved an inept cook fleeing from unit Commanding Officer Lt. Col. William Van Atten, who fired a series of blanks from his pistol and shouted, "Do not return until you can present meat that is fit for my men!"

Minutes later the cook, wearing a flack jacket and Kevlar helmet, returned with a large side of beef. Van Atten accepted the second dish, and the field mess officially began.

"It's such a motivating experience to be in the presence of so many of my esteemed comrades," stated Lance Cpl. Anthony Reid, VMFA(AW)-225 supply clerk. "The best part of the evening was seeing Sgt. Albert Parks receive the Navy Achievement Medal."

During the final hours of the mess night, the Marines took the opportunity to toast their contemporaries, as well as those who had gone before.

Van Atten proposed a toast "To all the Marines who are missing," and followed that with a toast, "To those who have given the full measure of devotion. To those who are not with us tonight - our fallen comrades."

Guest of honor Col. Howard Barker, Marine Aircraft Group 12 commanding officer, took the opportunity to salute the unit.

"I applaud all of you for what you've done, and I applaud all of you for what you'll do," said Barker.

Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 arrived here during April as part of the Unit Deployment Program.


Cpls. Brian A. Hernandez and John P. Inabinet fire up cigars during the squadron field mess. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Lydia Davey