• Albanian Maj. Ramadan Karakushi, executive officer of the Albanian Special Operations Force Contingent Eagle V, pins an Albanian flag on U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Edgardo Ortiz-Perez, a platoon sergeant with 3rd Infantry Division, before entering a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    Albanian Maj. Ramadan Karakushi, executive officer of the Albanian Special Operations Force Contingent Eagle V, pins an Albanian flag on U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Edgardo Ortiz-Perez, a platoon sergeant with 3rd Infantry Division, before entering a...

  • Coalition force members representing Australia, America, Albania and Romania gather for a photo during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    Coalition force members representing Australia, America, Albania and Romania gather for a photo during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

  • Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, commander of the Albanian Special Operations Force Contingent Eagle V, speaks with an Albanian news station receiving a live video feed of the Eagle V soldiers during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, commander of the Albanian Special Operations Force Contingent Eagle V, speaks with an Albanian news station receiving a live video feed of the Eagle V soldiers during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of...

  • Albanian and Romanian service members dance together during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    Albanian and Romanian service members dance together during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

  • Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti (center), commander of the Albanian Special Operations Force Contingent Eagle V, dances with Albanian soldiers and civilians during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti (center), commander of the Albanian Special Operations Force Contingent Eagle V, dances with Albanian soldiers and civilians during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating...

  • From left, U.S. Army Col. Michael Getchell, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, Australian army Brig Gen. Mark Brewer and U.S Army Lt. Col. Deborah Ellis pose for a photo during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012. Getchell commands the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Feltey commands the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment.  Dauti commands the Albanian Special Operations Force Contingent Eagle V. Brewer is the Regional Command (South) deputy commanding general for force development. Ellis commands the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    From left, U.S. Army Col. Michael Getchell, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, Australian army Brig Gen. Mark Brewer and U.S Army Lt. Col. Deborah Ellis pose for a photo during a celebration in recognition of Albania's...

  • Coalition service members and civilians applaud during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    Coalition service members and civilians applaud during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

  • An Albanian special operations force member translates the speech of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment's, during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    An Albanian special operations force member translates the speech of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment's, during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward...

  • From left, Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, Australian army Brig Gen. Mark Brewer, U.S Army Col. Michael Getchell and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, listen to a speaker during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012. Dauti is the commander of the Albanian Special Operations Force Contingent Eagle V. Brewer is the Regional Command (South) deputy commanding general for force development. Getchell commands the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Feltey commands the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    From left, Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, Australian army Brig Gen. Mark Brewer, U.S Army Col. Michael Getchell and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, listen to a speaker during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at...

  • From left, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, speaks with an Albanian special operations force member and Australian army Brig Gen. Mark Brewer, Regional Command (South) deputy commanding general for force development, before a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    From left, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, speaks with an Albanian special operations force member and Australian army Brig Gen. Mark Brewer, Regional Command (South) deputy commanding general for...

  • From left, Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, commander of Contingent Eagle V of the Albanian Special Operations Force,  ties a scarf onto U.S. Army Lt. Col. Deborah Ellis, commander of the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, while Australian army Brig. Gen. Mark Brewer, Regional Command (South) deputy commanding general for force development, looks on during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    From left, Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, commander of Contingent Eagle V of the Albanian Special Operations Force, ties a scarf onto U.S. Army Lt. Col. Deborah Ellis, commander of the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, while Australian army...

  • U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey (starting 4th from left), commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, commander of Contingent Eagle V of the Albanian Special Operations Force and U.S. Army Col. Michael Getchell, commander of the 4th Stryker Brigade  Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, cut a cake with members of Eagle V during a celebration in recognition of Albania's 100th year of independence at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Albanians celebrate 100 years of independence

    U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey (starting 4th from left), commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, commander of Contingent Eagle V of the Albanian Special Operations Force and U.S. Army Col. Michael Getchell...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan - A night of manning defense and fighting positions into the early morning didn't stop Albanian and American soldiers at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak from recognizing Albania's 100th year of independence in a celebration held here, Nov. 28, 2012.

The event, hosted by soldiers with Contingent Eagle V of the Albanian Special Operations Force, brought together international service members and civilians from across Regional Command (South). Colors of black and red were displayed throughout the venue with Albania's flag taking center stage.

"The red color of the flag symbolizes the bloodshed throughout our history of fierce wars. The black color symbolizes the mourning of mothers, daughters and sisters of fallen heroes in the field of battle and defense of our freedom. The eagle represents freedom and our ancient origins," said Albanian Lt. Col. Ekland Dauti, the commander of Eagle V.

During the ceremony, Dauti spoke of Albania's history, long struggle for independence, and fight against injustice. Albania won its freedom from the Ottoman Empire after 500 years of rule. Dauti remarked on the events of 1919 when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson dismissed a plan to divide Albania which helped confirm its territorial integrity.

Guest speakers included Australian army Brig. Gen. Mark Brewer, Regional Command (South) deputy commanding general for force development, and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, commander of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment. Both commended the Albanians on their achievements and contributions to the war in Afghanistan.

"I am convinced this day has brought together all Albanians," Dauti said. "I would like to greet all Albanians on this day of our national history, wherever they are, in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Europe, America, and around the world to wish them a happy independence day."

Following those words, Albanian civilians and service members gathered to perform a traditional dance and sing songs from their country. The dancers, dressed patriotically, made a ring of red and black and invited their coalition counterparts to join hands in dance, song and celebration.

However, the celebration was not complete without sending their loved ones and home country a very special message. The Eagle V soldiers sang one of their traditional songs via a live video feed to an Albanian news affiliate. Dauti thanked deployed soldier's families for their sacrifice, and finished with the message of "may God bless Albania."

Page last updated Sun December 2nd, 2012 at 00:00