[caption id=“attachment_2944” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“The USO at Basra is open for business 20 hours/7 days each week from 1000 until 0600 and features a wide array of USO amenities, including flat-screen TVs, phones, computers, and gaming equipment.”][/caption]

The last month and a half has been more mentally and physically demanding than the entire rest of the deployment for a group of men and women here on COB Basra. In contending in the first bodybuilding competition on base, the group followed a strict diet and training regimen to get in top physical shape in time for the show.

The driving force behind the event was Sgt. Mark Kring of the 206th Military Police Company. As the 2002 Mr. New York State Bodybuilding Champion, he knows the ins and outs of preparing for a competition. However, in a standard event, you aren’t faced with the additional daily requirements of being a soldier in a war zone. What was already an intense undertaking truly pushed these men and women to the outer limits of what they thought they were capable of, learning a lot about what they can really achieve with hard work and dedication in the process.

The USO co-sponsored the event, which also included many generous donations from the professional weight lifting field, and with a turn-out rivaling that of our biggest USO shows, it was a huge success.

Check out the following video for a behind the scenes look at the event!

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