Warriors of the 22d MEU (SOC) get a taste of Medieval history
Submitted by: 22nd MEU
Story Identification Number: 200121394326
Story by Lance Cpl. Kevin R. Reed

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain(Jan. 17, 2001) -- The distinct sound of metal clashing, the blur of horses storming by, the roar of the crowd, and the smell roasted chicken, bread, and wine all set the nights atmosphere. The warriors of the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) filled the stands of the arena, enjoying the sights, sounds, and especially the contest of the medieval banquet, here, 17 January.

The tour departed the USS Nassau just after 8pm local time and made their way through the city and up the mountainside before passing through the Castle gates. The waiting staff of the Medieval banquet met the warriors and ushered them to their ring side seats around the arena.

The seating of the arena was divided into color-coded sections that sat approximately 50 attendees. Enthusiast sat in the area that matched the uniform of the knights they wanted to cheer for during the banquet. Bread and drinks were waiting at the tables before the show began. The audience cheered their knight on as the evening progressed. The feast, a whole seasoned chicken, potatoes, bread, and wine followed the traditions of a medieval banquet. The MEU warriors fell into character for the night using their fingers to consume their meal.

The highlight of the night came, with the arrival of the main course. In the finale, after defeating all other contestants, the Black Knight was subdued by his rival the Yellow Knight. A cross slash to the chest sealed the Black Knights fate. "It was a little taste of what happened back then," said Cpl. Wallace S. Hill of the MEU's S-4, from Farmville, Virginia about the live entertainment and feast. "I loved the whole chicken that they served us."

The knights worked their guest into a frenzy with the mortal combat displayed before their eyes. With one final salute from the knights, the banquet was over.

Lance Cpl. Vanessa M. Wilson of the MEU Service Support Group 22, warehouse clerk, from Bridgeton, Mo. said the tour was, "a blast." "It was well worth the money, I had a great time."

Petty Officer First Class James A. Maraan, a religious programmer for the 22d MEU said, "It was pretty exciting, this was my first time I've seen anything like that, It was fun supporting our knight. I thought that it was just going to be fighting, I didn't expect to see all the different events," said the Ft. Washington, Md. native.

The tour was brought to the Marines and sailors of the 22d MEU through the 22d MEU and the USS Nassau's Military Recreation and Welfare department.

The 22d MEU is in the Mediterranean on a routine six-month deployment. During their deployment, the 22d MEU will be visiting many different countries for both liberty and exercises. The 22d MEU spent a total of seven days in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

For more information about what the 22d MEU is doing, visit their website at http://www.usmc.mil/22meu.