TARIN KOT, Afghanistan - On Australia Day, comparative to the 4th of July, U.S. soldiers took time to recognize the foundation of their coalition partners' nation and reflect on what it means to serve at Multi National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, Jan. 26, 2013.
During the event the Australian Commander, Col. Simon Stuart, addressed the men and women of Combined Team Uruzgan and recognized his executive officer who passed 40 years of unwavering service to the Army.
"We recognize the dedication of Maj. Paul Pricket, the executive officer of CTU who joined the Australian Army in 1973 and on Jan. 17 dedicated over 40-years to the Australian Army," Col. Stuart said.
Afterwards, Australian and Americans celebrated with good food and camaraderie by enjoying authentic Australian delicacies in the dining facility. The special meal included barbecue and roast lamb, aussie meat pies, vegemite, pavlova and lamingtons.
"The food was excellent. Cooked to perfection, reminding me of Samoa when we cook lamb almost every day," said Staff Sgt. Carolina Serrano, 82nd Financial Management Support Brigade.
Troops also added color and fanfare to the day by doning unique Australian outfits, wearing kangaroos and national flag tattoos and decorating the base with memorabilia.
However, the Australia holiday was much more than barbeques and face paint; it was also a day to recognize how coalition forces are working together to improve the lives of the people in Afghanistan.
"The men and women of combined team Uruzgan are making a significant contribution to the Australian nation and our international efforts here in Afghanistan," Stuart said.