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U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting in front of the administration building Dec. 2, 2013.

U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting in front of the administration building Dec. 2, 2013. (Alex Smedegard/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting in front of the administration building Dec. 2, 2013.

U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting in front of the administration building Dec. 2, 2013. (Alex Smedegard/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Operations Specialist 3rd Class Edwin Baker helps fellow sailors assigned to USS Constitution with the ship's Christmas tree Dec. 2, 2013.

Operations Specialist 3rd Class Edwin Baker helps fellow sailors assigned to USS Constitution with the ship's Christmas tree Dec. 2, 2013. (John Benson/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Sailors from Fleet Activities Yokosuka dance with Japanese nationals during a Christmas disco party held at Yokosuka Sogo Fukushi Kaikan Hall Dec. 4, 2013. The celebration is an annual event, sponsored by the Yokosuka Lions Club, for disabled Japanese nationals from around the Yokosuka area.

Sailors from Fleet Activities Yokosuka dance with Japanese nationals during a Christmas disco party held at Yokosuka Sogo Fukushi Kaikan Hall Dec. 4, 2013. The celebration is an annual event, sponsored by the Yokosuka Lions Club, for disabled Japanese nationals from around the Yokosuka area. (Amanda S. Kitchner/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Personnel Specialist 1st Class Tina Cook opens gifts with an elementary student during the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division's 64th annual Children's Christmas Party Dec. 12, 2013. The division hosts the Children's Christmas Party as part of its community outreach program.

Personnel Specialist 1st Class Tina Cook opens gifts with an elementary student during the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division's 64th annual Children's Christmas Party Dec. 12, 2013. The division hosts the Children's Christmas Party as part of its community outreach program. (Kevin B. Gray/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Santa Claus takes the helm on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Dec. 12, 2013. Morale, Welfare and Recreation is holding a number of holiday events onboard Theodore Roosevelt, including a Santa Claus tour around the ship.

Santa Claus takes the helm on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Dec. 12, 2013. Morale, Welfare and Recreation is holding a number of holiday events onboard Theodore Roosevelt, including a Santa Claus tour around the ship. (Kris R. Lindstrom/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Haidavid Tran decorates a Christmas tree on the mess decks aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey  Dec. 15, 2013. Monterey is deployed in the Mediterranean Sea.

Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Haidavid Tran decorates a Christmas tree on the mess decks aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey Dec. 15, 2013. Monterey is deployed in the Mediterranean Sea. (Billy Ho/Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan displays holiday lighting while moored at its homeport of Naval Air Station North Island Dec. 19, 2013.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan displays holiday lighting while moored at its homeport of Naval Air Station North Island Dec. 19, 2013. ( Lowell Whitman/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Fire Controlman 1st Class Chad Chambers hugs his daughters after surprising them with his homecoming while they were visiting Santa Claus at the MacArthur Center in Norfolk, Va., Dec 13, 2013. Chambers had been deployed aboard USS Stout since August and returned home early to transfer from the command and report to a shore duty command as part of a routine rotation.

Fire Controlman 1st Class Chad Chambers hugs his daughters after surprising them with his homecoming while they were visiting Santa Claus at the MacArthur Center in Norfolk, Va., Dec 13, 2013. Chambers had been deployed aboard USS Stout since August and returned home early to transfer from the command and report to a shore duty command as part of a routine rotation. ( Molly A. Burgess/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Naval Aircrewman 3rd Class Tyler Abbott, assigned to the Black Hawks of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron  15, waits while mail is unloaded from an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman Dec. 19, 2013 while underway in the Persian Gulf.

Naval Aircrewman 3rd Class Tyler Abbott, assigned to the Black Hawks of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15, waits while mail is unloaded from an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman Dec. 19, 2013 while underway in the Persian Gulf. (Karl Anderson/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

For military servicemembers, serving is a 24-hour a day business, even during the holiday season.

Most of them are serving in far-flung places around the world, far from family and friends in the United States.

But the holidays can offer a lighter side to the very serious business of keeping the U.S. and its allies safe. Here, sailors and Marines around the world take some time to get into the holiday spirit.


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