The fight against Islamic terrorism will persist on the Fourth of July, but that does not mean U.S. service members deployed overseas will have to forego celebrating the birth of the United States on account of being in a war zone.
Amid the unrelenting threat in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan posed by the likes of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and the Taliban, the celebrations for U.S. troops there will not feature the large barbecues and fireworks scattered throughout the United States.
Nevertheless, American troops risking their lives to defend the United States and ensure their compatriots at home can freely celebrate Independence Day will get a taste of the holiday from a special meal served on Fourth of July.
“The Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) hosts multiple events on July Fourth for military members deployed across the world,” the public affairs office of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) operation against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, told Breitbart News. “Special holiday meals are also served, complete with decorations; and command leadership serve troops their meals instead of contractors who normally perform that duty.”
CENTCOM is also overseeing the ongoing U.S. war in Afghanistan.
While the meal will likely serve as a reminder of what they are fighting to defend, U.S. troops fighting ISIS and other terrorist groups will not have the luxury of indulging in revelry and letting their guard down.
“We are not aware of any correlation between ISIS activity and the U.S. Independence Day,” noted CENTCOM. “Due to ISIS’ history of despicable acts of terror, the Coalition and its partnered forces remain alert and intently focused on the destruction of ISIS.”
Thanks to the sacrifice of American troops, ISIS has suffered significant losses in its so-called caliphate of Iraq and Syria.
The U.S. military has also degraded the terrorist organization’s wing in Afghanistan.
However, ISIS is still very much alive and kicking, threatening not only the American service members taking them on overseas but also people in the United States.
U.S. troops in Afghanistan, home the largest concentration of terrorist organizations in the world, are also fighting a resilient Taliban, the most powerful jihadist group in the country.
American service members find themselves deployed across the world in defense of liberty and values that are particularly evident during the Fourth of July festivities in cities across the United States.
In foreign bases outside of war zones, troops have more time to celebrate and organize events. The Yokota Air Base in Japan organized a “Celebrate America” day on June 30 featuring a magnificent fireworks display. According to the U.S. Air Force, “Celebrate America is an annual event that provides military members and their families the opportunity to enjoy games, food and bands before culminating in a fireworks display over the Yokota airfield to celebrate Independence Day.”
U.S. Air Force photos by Yasuo Osakabe.