Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas at an Afghan Forward Operating Base

Christmas at an Afghan Forward Operating Base
Stars and Stripes
By Cid Standifer
Published: December 24, 2013

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GAMBERI — On Christmas morning, Spc. Clarecea Smith’s three children will be tearing open presents with family by their side, including Smith’s husband, her parents and her little ones’ aunts and uncles. She said she can’t wait to see the look on her 5-year-old son’s face when he gets his brand new four-wheeler.

Of course, that will have to be over Skype, since she’s on this small forward operating base in Afghanistan serving with the 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery. By the time her family’s Christmas Day starts in South Carolina, it’ll be about 8 p.m. here, and Smith’s Christmas will almost be over.

Like many deployed soldiers, she’ll spend Christmas Eve at work. From 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., she’ll be acting as the noncommissioned officer in charge of flight operations.

But that won’t stop her from celebrating. Smith said she and the one other soldier working the flight terminal night shift will settle in and watch a few Christmas movies between flights.
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