The US Military Celebrates Christmas Around the World
Despite deployment and austere conditions at locations around the world, the US military tries to provide its troops the resources and opportunities they need to celebrate Christmas, as well as the freedom to interact with local communities to honor the Christmas season. In most, but not all, cases, the military isn’t afraid to say “Christmas” or “Hanukkah” or otherwise acknowledge the point of what’s being celebrated — despite the occasional criticism from Scut Farkus. Some recent examples, from Colorado Springs to Japan:
Sailors at Fleet Activities Sasebo (Japan) brought Christmas gifts to orphans through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.
Led by their battalion commander, LtCol Lawson Bell, Soldiers out of Fort Carson, Colorado, participated in an all-night march to downtown Colorado Springs, where they teamed with Catholic Charities to support the Marian House Soup Kitchen.
The III MEF Band at Okinawa, Japan, played their annual Christmas Concert earlier this month.
Marines at Iwakuni, Japan, used their Christmas party to continue their decades-long support for the local Tsuta Orphanage.
A 45-foot Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat crew in Hawaii helped deliver toys and clothes to the Salvation Army after the ferry used in prior years wasn’t available.
Marines at Logistics Base Barstow in southern California received Christmas trees through the Trees for Troops program, sponsored by FedEx.
The William Beaumont Army Medical Center (El Paso, TX) held its annual “holiday tree” lighting (though the program said it was a Christmas tree lighting), during which they sang Christmas carols and the chaplain provided a “devotional thought.”
Operation Christmas Drop continued into its 65th year, launching from Guam and delivering necessities to remote islands around the Pacific.
The Peoria Air Guard 182nd Airlift Wing had no qualms about celebrating their annual Christmas party in the “holiday spirit.”
Tyndall AFB discussed its “Operation Angel Tree” — and it was all about “holiday spirit” until one of the First Sergeants finally said the purpose was to give kids a good Christmas.
The Ellsworth AFB spouses clubs made thousands of “holiday” cookies for those Airmen who weren’t going home for the “holiday.”
The Stars and Stripes covered troops in Irbil, Iraq, celebrating a “holiday meal.” Interestingly (or oddly), all but one of the troops featured in the story were women who talked about missing their kids/siblings.
Airmen from Seymour Johnson AFB delivered “holiday” cards and “holiday” gifts to residents at the North Carolina State Veterans’ Home.
Sailors on the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George Washington celebrated an unambiguous Christmas dinner with their families (the article even mentions Easter).
Airman at Misawa AB, Japan, were inspired by the Christmas season to help out a local orphanage.
There will be more to come.