• Color guard members present the regional command's colors during a Veterans Day ceremony held at Regional Command (South) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, to honor veterans and remember those who gave all, Nov. 11, 2012.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    Color guard members present the regional command's colors during a Veterans Day ceremony held at Regional Command (South) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, to honor veterans and remember those who gave all, Nov...

  • Australian service members pay their respects during a Veterans Day ceremony held at Regional Command (South) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans of the past, present and future.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    Australian service members pay their respects during a Veterans Day ceremony held at Regional Command (South) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the Veterans...

  • Regional Command (South) and Third Infantry Division commanding general, Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, speaks to a gathering of service members and civilians during a Veterans Day ceremony held at RC (S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans of the past, present and future.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    Regional Command (South) and Third Infantry Division commanding general, Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, speaks to a gathering of service members and civilians during a Veterans Day ceremony held at RC (S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on...

  • Regional Command (South) and Third Infantry Division commanding general, Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, speaks to a gathering of service members and civilians during a Veterans Day ceremony held at RC(S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans of the past, present and future.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    Regional Command (South) and Third Infantry Division commanding general, Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, speaks to a gathering of service members and civilians during a Veterans Day ceremony held at RC(S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar...

  • Spc. Valerie Garcia, assigned to Operations Company, Headquarters & Headquarters Battalion, Third Infantry Division, places a poppy on the Fallen Soldier display at Marne Garden (Forward), Nov. 11, 2012, in Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Service members and civilians gathered at Regional Command (South) Headquarters for the Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans of the past, present and future.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    Spc. Valerie Garcia, assigned to Operations Company, Headquarters & Headquarters Battalion, Third Infantry Division, places a poppy on the Fallen Soldier display at Marne Garden (Forward), Nov. 11, 2012, in Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Service...

  • A monument to represent fallen service members is displayed during Regional Command (South)'s Veterans Day ceremony held at RC(S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans of the past, present and future.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    A monument to represent fallen service members is displayed during Regional Command (South)'s Veterans Day ceremony held at RC(S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians...

  • Regional Command (South) chaplain, Lt. Col. Gregory Walker, opens a Veterans Day ceremony with a prayer at RC(S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans of the past, present and future.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    Regional Command (South) chaplain, Lt. Col. Gregory Walker, opens a Veterans Day ceremony with a prayer at RC(S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the...

  • The Regional Command (South) command group observes a moment of silence for fallen service members during a Veterans Day ceremony held at RC (S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans of the past, present and future.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    The Regional Command (South) command group observes a moment of silence for fallen service members during a Veterans Day ceremony held at RC (S) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and...

  • Coalition service members and civilians bow their heads during a Veterans Day ceremony held at Regional Command (South) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, to honor veterans and remember those who gave all, Nov. 11, 2012. Service members and civilians gathered for the Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans of the past, present and future.

    Service members in Afghanistan pay tribute on Veterans Day

    Coalition service members and civilians bow their heads during a Veterans Day ceremony held at Regional Command (South) Headquarters' Marne Garden (Forward) on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, to honor veterans and remember those who gave all, Nov. 11...

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Nov. 11, 2012) -- Service members and civilians from Regional Command (South) observed the day with a ceremony at the command's headquarters on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 11, 2012.

Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, Regional Command (South) and Third Infantry Division commanding general, spoke about the origin of the commemoration and what it means to service members and their families today.

"It is now a day when nations around the world pause in a moment of silence, with solemn pride, in remembrance of the heroism of those who've served, those who currently serve and those who've died in their country's service," Abrams said.

Operations in Regional Command (South) are supported by service members from several countries, including England, France, Australia and Canada. Those countries also mark Veterans Day on or about Nov. 11.

"You represent the very best of your countries," Abrams told the international crowd gathered for the ceremony.

The United States currently has 14,000 service members serving in the region, while Romania and Australia rank No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in troop numbers. Forty percent of the region's service members are first-time deployers.

Abrams acknowledged the sacrifice, hard work and invaluable support of families back home.

"A life of service is anything but peaceful," he said. "Our days are filled with a sergeant's voice, rifles, trucks and helicopters. But our heads are filled with the sounds of our children laughing, our spouses and our friends and family laughing."

"To our [service members] and our families, you are a national treasure and your resiliency never ceases to amaze me."

Page last updated Sun November 11th, 2012 at 00:00