Christmas with the Sabers
December 25, 2012
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."