"We almost forgot we were in a war zone ... Folks will be talking about I-Roq 2008 for a long time after we leave ... You have no idea what this meant to us. Your support and care for us has been overwhelming. From the bottom of our hearts a big THANK YOU!" Col. Ralph Romine, Garrison Commander, LSA Anaconda, 28 March 2008
April 20, 2008 UPDATE: Nine video clips from the big event were put on Video.MSN.com. Tournament contestants and attendies were able to share the video links with their families and friends. Visitors to MSN.com could share their comments. Our grateful thanks to MSN and to Andy, Vince and crew for making this happen. And thanks to the Anaconda public affairs office, who communicated this info throughout the base so the troops and their families and friends back home would be able to enjoy the videos. HOOAH!
If you want to see all the videos, CLICK HERE to get to the MSN site and type "I-Roq" in the search bar. If you sign up (it's free) you can also share your comments with the troops.
Scroll down below the video clips and you can also view the April 9th, 2008, edition of "Anaconda Times," the official newspaper of LSA Anaconda. There is a story on the I-Roq Band Tournament in the edition.
Read story on the I-Roq Band Tournament in the "Anaconda Times," the official newspaper of LSA Anaconda. CLICK HERE. For other issues of "Anaconda Times," you can visit DVIDSHUB.NET.
"Dakota GI," a team of combat engineers, won first place. They are shown here with BG Gregory Couch, commander, 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and their Xbox prizes. Well done guys!
They came in costumes, they came with groupies and they played to a packed house! They had names like Fabreeze, Dakota GI, Das Boots, Sheets, Brain Stain, The Electric Pancake, Doc and The Elite. One team even came with mohawk haircuts. It was a great opportunity for all the participating teams, their supporters and the audience to take a few hourse off from the stress of war and enjoy themselves. Some pictures from the event are shown below...
The official poster (above) of the I-Roq Band Tournament event on LSA Anaconda (courtesy Ten Gun Design).
I-Roq Band Tournament tent cards adorned tables in the DFACs all week!
The big 30-foot-long banner arrived Thursday, March 27th, just in time for the event! It hung inside the MWR East at the back of the stage!
I-Roq Band Tournament LSA Anaconda, Iraq March 28, 2008
On March 28, 2008, Adopt-A-Soldier Platoon teamed up with Microsoft Xbox and MTV Games to host the first ever I-Roq Band Tournament at LSA Anaconda, allowing troops at America's biggest base in Iraq to "unleash their inner rock star" on Xbox 360!!!
"It was AMAZING tonight," said Col. Ralph Romine, Garrison Commander. "We had 650 service members in attendance. We had eight bands compete, each did three songs. The bands came out in full force and brought their A game! There were some very cool costumes. We had five judges: the general in charge of the base, three colonels, my deputy and one of the civilian organizers of the event!
"It took three hours and Public Affairs took lots of still pictures and of course a good video. They did interviews with the band members. The audience was awesome ... loud and proud. One of the bands unfortunately had to leave mid stream because of an emergency (we almost forgot we were in a war zone til that moment). They got to perform but they did not come back so we are holding their prizes.
"One of my civilians that works these type events said that "it was one of the best events" he has seen in his four years here on Anaconda. Folks will be talking about I-Roq 2008 for a long time after we leave. I can tell you that service members were moved by all of your generosity and care for us out here! It was a success...a total success."
Microsoft Xbox and MTV Games partnered with Adopt-A-Soldier Platoon to deliver more than 30 Xbox 360 video game and entertainment systems and “Rock Band” bundles for the I-Roq Band Tournament. Prizes were donated by Microsoft, MTV Games, Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon, Unilever, USO and a private citizen. Cables To Go and Millennium Solutions provided essential extra-long USB, video and audio cabling for the stage.
We couldn't have done all this without the tremendous help from the organizations below:
Some project history ...
Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon had already sent nine Xboxes and several Rock Band games to Anaconda, through the auspices of its Operation Xbox major sponsors Pepsi Lipton Partnership, Unilever Ambassadors and Atlas Air Worldwide, as well as its citizen supporters. When the Microsoft Corporation heard about what AaSP was doing and how their technology was positively impacting the brave men and women serving America in harm's way, they decided to do more, allowing troops in Iraq to "unleash their inner rock star on Xbox 360." The result ... the I-Roq Band Tournament!
More than 20 teams competed to get to the final event. Eight four-man teams made the finals. Contestants were judged on technical score, costumes and, of course, stage presence while playing “Rock Band” on Xbox 360. Prizes were awarded to all eight teams. Prizes included: Xboxes and Rock Band games; Commemorative Microsoft Zune MP3 players; gift certificates to Amazon.com; digital cameras; 320GB external storage drives and portable DVD players. Door prizes were awarded spectators after each band played. It turned out to be a heck of an event!
Getting the proper equipment, even at the largest American base in Iraq, is always a concern. In this case, besides the Xbox systems and Rock Band games, Detachment 1, 332nd EMSG needed special cables to allow the contestants enough room on the stage to play the games and still face the audience and judges. The crew needed 50 ft. USB, RGB, video and audio cables to make it all happen. One of AaSP supporters, Don B, reached out to Cables To Go and Millennium Solutions (Eric O. and Ed C.) who generously agreed to help. They donated the specially configured cables and boosters the team needed (thanks Eric, Ed and also Don for making that connection for us).
The I-Roq Band Tournament was a huge team effort, led by Garrison Commander Colonel Ralph Romine and MWR co-ordinator 1st Lt. Vincent Urso and the Xbox team led by Andy, Kat, Vince and Stone, not to mention help from Christian and Peter and Amy. Special thanks to Ten Gun Design, the Seattle, WA, agency that donated its time and talent to create all the promotional material (thanks Jeff and Mark and the Ten Gun Team) and the huge banners. Thanks also to the Zune team that cooked up some special prizes (thanks Andy and Bruce). Thanks Peter for your special prizes! Thanks Charlie C. at PC Richard & Son, Paramus, NJ, for working so hard on prize pricing. And thanks to the USO for contributing prizes and also practice rooms for the troops.
What's really cool is the fact that all these great companies and organizations pitched in to help our troops have a great time and at least some temporary relief from the war zone. Thanks guys!! Hey ...