MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania -- Being away from home on the holidays can be difficult for deployed service members and civilians, no matter how many times you may have already done it.
For those at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, however, an Easter Sunday service at sunrise helped to retain a special link to loved ones far away.
The service, held in a newly refurbished Romanian Eastern Orthodox chapel on the base, was a unique experience for many not used to the religious décor often found in Eastern Europe churches. More importantly, it helped remind many present of the blessings they had in life, regardless of the miles or challenges faced.
For U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eddie Couthen, a mechanic with the 742nd Service Maintenance Company and a native of Irmo, S.C., the day was a bittersweet one.
"It's the first time away from my kids on Easter," he said.
The service, planned and hosted by the Religious Support Team at MK Air Base, was a traditional liturgical Protestant celebration. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Carl Seim, who serves as an assistant to the base chaplain, was instrumental in helping to piece the music and message of the day together.
"I reached out to my pastor in the states for a sampling of Easter and Holy Week services," added Seim.
Those in attendance, as evidenced by the spirited singing and fellowship present, were glad that he did, with the service proving to be a welcome reminder of friends and families far away.