Marines’ Turkey Day Mission: Find a Television and Satellite Dish

Stars and Stripes reports on the Thanksgiving expedition of the troops from Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, who are stationed in Iraq on the Syrian border. Top of their shopping list? Not turkey or stuffing, but a satellite dish to help them bring home a little closer:

With nearly a dozen televisions lining the upper shelves, an 18-year-old Iraqi store clerk wielded a large calculator, pointing to individual TV sets and punching in prices — in U.S. dollars — for the Marines to consider.

They finally settled on a 21-inch LG brand TV for $140. The Marines were less picky about the satellite dish, receiver and connection cords they would need to complete the project….

“All we gotta do is go back … and link up,” Virts said, holding out one of the ubiquitous satellite-image maps of the city that Marines here use for navigation and planning….

The television will add dramatically to the Marines’ quality of life here. Since their arrival two weeks ago, they’ve had no running water, only one hot meal a day and no telephone or Internet service. A mail truck arrived for the first time last week.

Receiving American televisions stations in this far-flung outpost may be difficult, but the Marines expect at the least to receive AFN, which offers a mix of domestic sports and news shows.

Several Marines spent much of the afternoon struggling to decipher the Arabic language instructions that came with the satellite dish.

Read the full story here.