US Air Force Band, Military Bases Show Christmas Spirit
Around the country and around the world, US military bases are helping troops celebrate the season of Christmas. (Many bases are also simultaneously celebrating Hanukkah, though the Jewish holiday is this week, preceding Christmas by a couple of weeks this year.) For the most part, it seems many bases aren’t shying away from calling them what they are, though a few are sticking to the more generic “holidays.”
- In their annual flash mob (2014, 2013) shown in the video above, the US Air Force band took over Union Station to play Jingle Bells and Auld Lang Syne in a “World War II Holiday Flashback.” (The songs are probably benign enough this year to avoid Mikey “Ebenezer” Weinstein’s equally predictable annual complaint.)
- Marine Corps Air Station Miramar gave away trees (via Trees for Troops) so it would help Marine families “actually feel like Christmas.”
- Aviano Air Base in Italy lit its “holiday tree” and sang “holiday carols.” Their Facebook announcement was followed by locals saying simply “Christmas tree.”
- Naval Hospital Bremerton’s commanding officer, CAPT David Weiss, lit the NHB Christmas tree at the beginning of December.
- Yokota Air Base, Japan, lit its Christmas tree after a “holiday spectacular” over Thanksgiving.
- In an event open to the public last weekend, the US Air Force Academy’s Cadet Chorale hosted a Christmas Concert and was joined by the civilian choir Soli Deo Gloria in a performance of the Bach Magnificat.
- Deputy commanding general MajGen John Uberti led the ceremonial lighting of Fort Hood’s Christmas tree.
- Fort Benning’s Christmas tree was flanked by both a Menorah and a Nativity.
- Schriever AFB conducts an annual Christmas tree and Menorah lighting, though the article this year covered only the tree.
- The commander of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point (NC), Col Chris Pappas, helped light the base Christmas tree last weekend.
- The Secretary of the Air Force issued her “holiday” message, as did General Welsh and the Air Staff.
- The US and German Armies combined to execute Operation Toy Drop in order to “spread the holiday spirit to host nation children.”
- Deployed American forces conducted a “holiday” tree lighting in Kuwait, though it did include a gospel choir performance.
- The Georgia National Guard posted a historical article covering Operation Christmas Star, a Vietnam-era mission to deliver Christmas presents to troops deployed to Vietnam.
- At Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Soldiers listened to The US Army Voices from the Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” which sang “a variety of seasonal hymns” including Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel.
- Marines in Japan participated in a tree lighting and, at Camp Schwab, their annual Christmas party.
- At Camp Zama, Japan, the US Army hosted Christmas Around the World and lit their Christmas tree as part of a Christmas Fantasy Land.
- The US Air Force based out of Japan, the Japanese Self Defense Forces, and the Australian Defence Force participated in the 65-year tradition of Operation Christmas Drop.
- At Fort Carson, Colorado, US troops marched bedecked in Santa hats to support the Marian House Soup Kitchen, a part of the Catholic Charities of Central Colorado with their annual Operation Stryker Christmas.
- Some Seabees brought “Christmas cheer” to an orphanage’s Christmas party in Timor.
- Joined by Santa Claus and the Three Kings, the Army Reserve delivered Christmas gifts to hospitalized and orphaned children as part of Operation Feliz Navidad in Puerto Rico.
- Sailors and Marine embarked on the USS Arlington participated in a Christmas Dinner…on Christmas Day.
- Troops deployed to al Udeid, Qatar, were able to “celebrate Christmas” with “Breakfast with Santa, a holiday concert, a movie marathon and a holiday meal.”
- Troops deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, were able to have a “Christmas dinner,” and the local food services even wore “stocking caps.”