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Photo essay: USMC and the holiday season

Marine AV-8B Harrier pilots fly over the southern Helmand province of Afghanistan on Dec. 6, 2012.

The holiday season means rest and family time for many, but for other servicemembers and their families there is no break.

This photo presentation is made of U.S. Marine Corps images taken within the last month.

From Marine recruits huddled beneath the stars in S.C. to Harrier pilots streaking across the Afghanistan sky, the variety of professions and places is expansive.

All of the images below are courtesy the U.S. Marine Corps Flickr page.

Share suggestions for future photo essays from Stripes.com via email or in the comments section below, and check out the Stars and Stripes archive via the 'Photo of the Day' series.

--Toshio Suzuki, @ToshJohn

 Marine_CH53wash122412USMC

A Marine with the 24th Expeditionary Unit washes a CH-53E while aboard the USS New York during a deployment to Iwo Jima, Dec. 8, 2012. Michael Petersheim/USMC, Flickr

 

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Marines speak with an Afghan police official during a patrol near Forward Operating Base Geronimo in Helmand province of Afghanistan, Nov. 27, 2012. Robert Walters/USMC, Flickr

 

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Santa Claus, along with an escort of Blue Angels, delivers to a Toys for Tots donation at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in N.J., on Dec. 3, 2012. Aaron Hostutler/USMC, Flickr

 

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Marine recruits take a rest under the stars during a two-day event at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, S.C., on Dec. 14, 2012. Chris Griffin/USMC, Flickr

 

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An MV-22 Marine Osprey prepares to land in the southern Helmand province of Afghanistan on Dec. 9, 2012. John Jackson/USMC, Flickr

 

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Marines fire their M4 at the training range at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec. 5, 2012. Jeff Drew/USMC, Flickr

 

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A Marine rifleman, Cpl. David J. Dickson, enjoys a homecoming ceremony for his 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune on Dec. 16, 2012. Richard Blumenstein/USMC, Flickr

 

 Marine_IED_Afghanistan122412USMC

Marines with the 7th Regiment provide security during an IED sweep near Forward Operating Base Now Zad in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, Nov. 25, 2012. Alejandro Pena/USMC, Flickr

 

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Marines with the 7th Regiment provide security during an IED sweep near Forward Operating Base Now Zad in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, Nov. 25, 2012. Alejandro Pena/USMC, Flickr

 

Marine_recruits122412USMC

Marine recruits do log drills at the recruitment depot in San Diego on Dec. 18, 2012. Bridget Keane/USMC, Flickr

 

 Marine_howitzer122412USMC

Marines fire M777A2 Lightweight Howitzers during exercises in Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 11, 2012. Jason Morrison/USMC, Flickr

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