• Stetsons adorned with Christmas hats and unit badges hang neatly in a row alongside spurs and stockings as the Yuletide season approaches at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan Dec. 12. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Christmas with the Sabers

    Stetsons adorned with Christmas hats and unit badges hang neatly in a row alongside spurs and stockings as the Yuletide season approaches at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan Dec. 12. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public...

  • Soldiers from B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment take a moment to show off some Christmas spirit and camaraderie at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan Dec. 12. When away from their actual families, these Soldiers have made a family within the unit to help boost morale and keep the holiday spirit alive. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Christmas with the Sabers

    Soldiers from B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment take a moment to show off some Christmas spirit and camaraderie at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan Dec. 12. When away from their actual families, these Soldiers have made a family...

  • Capt. William Dionne, AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot from Flower Mound, Texas and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stanley Pebsworth, AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot pose with their "highly decorated" tree and John Wayne to show off their holiday spirit at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan Dec. 13. Decorating for the holidays is a welcome distraction from the routine of deployed life. See if you can find the two Army Commendation Medals awarded to this tree for outstanding morale support. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Christmas with the Sabers

    Capt. William Dionne, AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot from Flower Mound, Texas and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stanley Pebsworth, AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot pose with their "highly decorated" tree and John Wayne to show off their holiday spirit at Forward...

  • A simple and tasteful wreath adorns the door of C Company, 1st Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan Dec. 12. Don't let the lack of decorations outside fool you, C, 1-101 CAB keeps their decorations under wraps. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Christmas with the Sabers

    A simple and tasteful wreath adorns the door of C Company, 1st Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan Dec. 12. Don't let the lack of decorations outside fool you, C, 1-101 CAB keeps their decorations under...

  • Soldiers from D Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment take time from their maintenance schedule to read Christmas letters and put up decorations sent by school children in one of the maintenance hangars at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan on Dec. 13. As busy as the Soldiers are, making sure that the holiday spirits are alive and well in the work place is essential to good order and discipline for these Soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Christmas with the Sabers

    Soldiers from D Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment take time from their maintenance schedule to read Christmas letters and put up decorations sent by school children in one of the maintenance hangars at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan...

  • Sgt. Alcone Levier, D Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment avionics repair noncommissioned officer, waits his turn to put up a picture colored in by an elementary school student in a maintenance hangar at Forward Operating base Fenty, Afghanistan Dec. 13. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Christmas with the Sabers

    Sgt. Alcone Levier, D Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment avionics repair noncommissioned officer, waits his turn to put up a picture colored in by an elementary school student in a maintenance hangar at Forward Operating base Fenty, Afghanistan...

  • Soldiers from D Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment pose in front of decorations put up before they have to get back to work after taking time to put up Christmas decorations sent by school children in one of the maintenance hangars at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan on Dec. 13. As busy as the Soldiers are, making sure that the holiday spirits are alive and well in the work place is essential to good order and discipline for these Soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Christmas with the Sabers

    Soldiers from D Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment pose in front of decorations put up before they have to get back to work after taking time to put up Christmas decorations sent by school children in one of the maintenance hangars at Forward...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan - Christmas with Task Force Saber on Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan is a bitter-sweet occasion. Normally Soldiers with TF Saber would go home to be with their families during the holidays.
Since this Christmas falls squarely in the middle of a deployment, getting home for the holidays is next to impossible. In spite of all this, TF Saber is still involved in most of the Yule-time traditions. Christmas trees are decorated and stockings are hung with the greatest of care.
"First sergeant got the tree," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stanley Pebsworth, C Company, 1st Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot. "We used decorations left over from the 82nd CAB and we got care packages with decorations in them. We also wanted a 'highly decorated' tree, so we gave it two Army Commendations for supporting morale."
The trees and decorations are the visible trappings of the holiday spirit. The Soldiers themselves are the real source of the festive atmosphere.
"We do it to keep things homey," said Sgt. David Marschall, B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment OH-58 Kiowa crew chief. "It also helps keep our mind off work and being away from our families."
Some traditions arise out of being away from home. Soldiers have embraced the technologies that help close the distance between loved ones.
"I'm looking forward to getting online to watch my wife and kids open some Christmas presents," said Staff Sgt. Ruben Tubbs, B, 2-17 CAV platoon sergeant. "This is about the comforts of home."
In 2-17 CAV, the holidays are not just an important part of family life; it is an important part of unit life. Task Force Saber's command team takes an active role participating in festivities with the troops.
"Sergeant major and I handed out stockings," said Lt. Col. Michael Harvey, commander, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. "We'll be going around on Christmas to visit with all of our Soldiers. I pray and hope that everyone is home next Christmas."

Page last updated Tue December 25th, 2012 at 00:00