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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan


Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
Empty field of dreams

By Cpl. Joe Lindsay | | October 5, 2001

Intramural sports aboard the Station are back after a temporary postponement in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., Sept. 11.

The decision in Iwakuni to put sports on hold was also mirrored back home in the United States, where Major League Baseball, the NFL and NCAA also postponed scheduled games.

"I want to make clear that intramurals were postponed and not cancelled," said Freddie Davis, Semper Fit sports coordinator.  "Given the terrorist situation, I think the command made a very wise decision."

According to Davis, the decision was made for two main reasons.

"First of all, we didn't need the large outdoor gatherings which are associated with sports," said Davis.  "Secondly, and perhaps more telling, is that all our hearts needed to be with our fallen citizens and comrades back home.  It just didn't seem like the appropriate time to be having fun and playing sports."

Though intramurals were temporarily suspended, residents could still maintain their personal physical training regiment.

"We encouraged people to continue to work out at the Main Gym, though residents were told to avoid running on the sea wall."

The sea wall is now open for PT during daylight hours.

Many service members aboard the Station agreed with Davis that the postponement of intramurals was a good idea.

"I missed playing softball," said former All-Marine player and Iwakuni Varsity Women's Softball shortstop Sarah Fickisen, "but I agree with the decision 100 percent.  Our concentration and focus had to be on what we came in the Marine Corps in the first place to do, which is protecting America and freedom everywhere."

Others had an even stronger reaction to the postponements.

"There is no doubt postponing intramural was the right thing to do," said Jay Wilfrom, Rooftop Warrior leftfielder.  "I think we should take it a step further though, and that the games should be postponed indefinitely until we take care of this situation.  I would gladly put down my baseball bat and pick up an M-16.  We should take care of these terrorists now, today, and worry about intramurals after we've taken care of the business Marines are trained to do."

Despite the postponement, many intramural participants still got together informally to work out.

"We didn't practice, but we did stay in shape," said Fickisen.  "Now that intramurals are reinstated, I think it is a good sign that the situation is well in hand.  We are in control again."

"I'll be glad intramurals are back at Iwakuni," said Marine Aircraft Group 12 right fielder James Huson.  "But I'll feel even better when the terrorists responsible for this tragedy get what they've got coming to them."