11 January 2009

Day One Hundred Fourteen.

Beer? Woah!

BAGHDAD – American troops in Iraq will be allowed to drink beer while watching this year's Super Bowl without fear of court-martial.

In what is sure to be a major morale boost, Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, issued a waiver Wednesday to a strict military ban on drinking alcohol in combat zones.

Troops will gather in dining halls on military bases around the country to watch the game, which is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. EST on Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla. It will be 2 a.m. in Baghdad when the live broadcast starts in Iraq.

A copy of the waiver said the consumption of alcoholic beverages will be limited to Feb. 1-2 and service members can only have two, 12-ounce beers each.

Odierno also appeared to acknowledge the sensitivity of drinking alcohol in an Islamic country, particularly considering the game falls during a holy period for Iraq's majority Shiite Muslims.

The waiver orders commanders to "keep in mind all host nation laws and customs regarding alcohol consumption" and "to exercise discretion and good judgment in enforcing these guidelines and restrictions."

U.S. troops have been banned from drinking, possessing or selling alcoholic beverages under a general order that also bans them from possessing pornography and other activities. They can face a reduction in pay or rank or even a court-martial if they violate the rule.

Drinking alcohol isn't illegal in Iraq, but is banned under Islam, and extremists have frequently targeted liquor stores.

The exemption comes as the U.S. military faces stricter Iraqi oversight under a new security agreement that took effect on Jan. 1.

I hope Jason gets two beers, but I can totally see him on patrol that night. Poor boy. Beer in April for sure!


jlc said...

I saw that on Yahoo news on Friday!!

hahaha - Poor guys the last time my husband got a beer was for the Marine's birthday this fall.

Sara said...

Scott was supposed to get 2 beers on thanksgiving, but then they changed their mind. And he's not even overseas...

rebecca said...

Awww, poor guys indeed!

I love your list of things to do on the sidebar, btw :)

You've inspired me, I may attempt one

J.L.S. said...

Awww I hope Scott gets his 2 beers!! The last time he had some was probably in May or June! Poor things!