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Break time at the front

Warrant Officer Tom Allen soaks up some sun in a marshy pond near the flight line at the tiny Vinh Long airfield, home of the U.S. Army's 502nd and 114th Aviation Battalions, in South Vietnam's Mekong Delta region in 1965.

Technology and war have changed drastically over the decades, but even under stress and awful conditions, brothers-in-arms have always found a moment to relax and bond with each other.

Sometimes even truces were called - the most famous taken place on the front lines of WWI when German and British forces faced off in a soccer match on Christmas Eve 1914. While legitimate photographic evidence of the match is up for debate, there are plenty of other photos of servicemembers downrange at various fronts enjoying a quick moment of peace before the bullets started flying - again.

Here’s a collection of photos of soldiers grabbing a moment of peace. Do you have a photo relaxing from your time at OIF/OEF? Send them to tibbetts.meredith@stripes.com to be included in an upcoming blog post.

WWI

Soldier Thrown in Air, Trenton, New Jersey, 1917. This photo is found around the web, but it was originally part of the Lewis W. Hine/National Gallery of Art in Washington. Source: http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/art-object-page.92317.html

First World War, mobilization, declaration of war: A group of British soldiers with a cloth to throw one of them into the air during preparations for the battle at the front. England, 1915. Source: http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/155205.html

WWII

Airmen wait in a briefing room aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier - probably the USS Ranger - for instructions in July 1944. They kill time by distracting a young cat with a string. Link will bring you to source and more photos of sailors and cats: http://www.usni.org/news-and-features/cats-and-the-sea-services

For his 19th birthday, this sergeant's buddies baked him a cake and decorated it with the tools of his trade. P.S.: He didn't light the candles. Ca. May 1942. Photo by Fred Morgan. Source: http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/ww2-pictures/images/african-americans-wwii-208.jpg

Four US pilots relax in hot tubs near Iwo Jima in 1945. Source: http://www.crazywebsite.com/Website-Clipart-Pictures-Videos/American_History/Public_Domain_Photos_WWII_Iwo_Jima_GI_Spa_Hot_Tubs_Beer_USA_Pilots_1945.jpg

An air cadet is shown on a cot in his barracks studying as he gazes fondly at his collection of photos of his girl friends. Source: http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/ww2-pictures/images/african-americans-wwii-210.jpg

Korean War

Marines relax by playing horseshoes during the Korean War. (Frank Praytor/USMC)

Vietnam War

Sp5 Christopher H. Miller of Cocoa Beach, Fla., gets some rest in a hammock slung beneath the tail boom of a Huey helicopter at Landing Zone Jamie, South Vietnam, in October 1969. The choppers were bringing Blue Platoon, C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division troops to LZ Jamie, from where they would go on a mission to search for the source of enemy radio signals detected in the area about 50 miles northwest of Saigon. They eventually discovered a company-sized, 23-bunker complex that had recently been vacated. (Joe Kamalick/Stars and Stripes)

 

Warrant Officer Tom Allen soaks up some sun in a marshy pond near the flight line at the tiny Vinh Long airfield, home of the U.S. Army's 502nd and 114th Aviation Battalions, in South Vietnam's Mekong Delta region in 1965. (Bob Cutts/Stars and Stripes)

Gulf War

Soldiers take a break with a game of “Saudi ball” to ease stress and occupy their free time in the Saudi Arabian desert in 1991. The game they invented is like baseball, except that everyone has to bat one-handed with the hand they normally don't use; and pitchers and fielders must also throw with their "other" hand. (Wayne Begasse/Stars and Stripes)

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