22D MEU (SOC) visits
Submitted by: 22nd
Story Identification Number:
Story by Lance Cpl. Kevin R. Reed,
SICILY, Italy(January 3, 2001) -- Several
Marines and sailors from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit
(Special Operation Capable), embarked on the USS Nassau
experienced Sicilian culture during their holiday liberty
port, January 3rd.
The MEU's warriors were afforded a unique opportunity to
visit Sicily through Morale, Welfare, and Recreation
services, and the United Service Organization. The wariors
spent the night at a local hotel, ate Sicilian cuisine at
the local restaurants and visited many historical sights
before returning to the USS Nassau the next evening.
The tour, dubbed "Over Night in Sicily," was rich
in Sicilian heritage and culture. The warriors turned
tourists spent two days roaming the Italian island enjoying
the beautiful scenery. They visited a variety of places on
the island ranging from an ancient Greek amphitheater to
Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe.
Lance Cpl. John S. Bullock, from Battalion Landing Team, 1st
Battalion, 8th Marines, Weapons Company, Anti-Armor Platoon,
gave rave reviews of the Sicily tour. "It was
great," said the Gainesville, Floridian. "The tour
guide was looking for things for us to do, asking what we
wanted to see. It was nice that she looked out for our
interest. It was a chance to do what we wanted to do."
Chief Petty Officer John G. Stewart, from Bayshore Long
Island, New York, said the tour was simply,
"awesome." "It was a combination of the
hospitality, the food, the sights and the people,"
explained the BLT 1/8 Preventive Medicine Chief. Chief
Stewart further stated that, "I always wanted to go and
I finally got the chance to do it."
The success of the trip was attributed to a very
enthusiastic Georgia (tour guide) said Chief Stewart. Chief
Stewart stated that, "without her wanting us to see the
sights; it wouldn't have been as enjoyable. The people she
took us to meet just opened their arms to us and let us in
to their homes. I would pass this tour onto anybody,"
"It was really interesting with a lot of historical
value," said Sgt. Brent A Dowland, from Houston, Texas.
"The Greek amphitheater was the best part of the tour
because of the similarities between ancient and modern
traditions and living environments. I would do it again to
enhance my knowledge of ancient Sicily." Dowland said
he "definitely" would recommend this tour to his
For more information about this story and what the 22d MEU
is doing, visit their website at http://www.usmc.mil/22meu