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A camouflage reindeer blends in at the base operations office on Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar. Christmas decorations and goodies were scattered all over the base as soldiers got into the holiday spirit on Christmas Day.
A camouflage reindeer blends in at the base operations office on Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar. Christmas decorations and goodies were scattered all over the base as soldiers got into the holiday spirit on Christmas Day. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)
A camouflage reindeer blends in at the base operations office on Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar. Christmas decorations and goodies were scattered all over the base as soldiers got into the holiday spirit on Christmas Day.
A camouflage reindeer blends in at the base operations office on Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar. Christmas decorations and goodies were scattered all over the base as soldiers got into the holiday spirit on Christmas Day. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)
USO Programs Coordinator Heather Oliver broke into laughter as the USO staff prepared to welcome soldiers in for a holiday party. Soldiers were invited to watch Home Alone, stuff themselves with fudge and cookies and take pictures with Frosty the Snowman, Santa and his elves.
USO Programs Coordinator Heather Oliver broke into laughter as the USO staff prepared to welcome soldiers in for a holiday party. Soldiers were invited to watch Home Alone, stuff themselves with fudge and cookies and take pictures with Frosty the Snowman, Santa and his elves. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)
A soldier strums a guitar during a USO holiday party at Forward Operating Base Fenty. The party went on for 12 hours so people could wander in between shifts. Many soldiers and civilians still worked and went out on missions on Dec. 25, despite the holiday.
A soldier strums a guitar during a USO holiday party at Forward Operating Base Fenty. The party went on for 12 hours so people could wander in between shifts. Many soldiers and civilians still worked and went out on missions on Dec. 25, despite the holiday. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)
Elf and Forward Operating Base Fenty USO Director Regina Wages brought toys from Santa's workshop to raffle off during a Christmas party. Lucky boys and girls could win anything from Green Beans coffee gift cards to a Kindle Fire.
Elf and Forward Operating Base Fenty USO Director Regina Wages brought toys from Santa's workshop to raffle off during a Christmas party. Lucky boys and girls could win anything from Green Beans coffee gift cards to a Kindle Fire. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)
Lead singer for the Air Force Central Command rock band Systems Go Tech. Sgt. Felita LaRock sang a Jimi Hendrix song at Forward Operating Base Fenty on Christmas Day. FOB Fenty, which is close to Jalalabad, is in sight of snow-capped peaks, but too warm for a white Christmas itself.
Lead singer for the Air Force Central Command rock band Systems Go Tech. Sgt. Felita LaRock sang a Jimi Hendrix song at Forward Operating Base Fenty on Christmas Day. FOB Fenty, which is close to Jalalabad, is in sight of snow-capped peaks, but too warm for a white Christmas itself. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)
A Christmas Day basketball game at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Laghman Province got competitive.
A Christmas Day basketball game at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Laghman Province got competitive. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan — It might not look like a Christmas at home. Palm trees can be spotted over barbed wire, there’s more camouflage green than snowy white, and holiday music is occasionally overwhelmed by the sound of a helicopter. But soldiers in Afghanistan still try to get into the holiday spirit.

On Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar Province, a restive region of Afghanistan, two elves, Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and a reindeer or two made an appearance at the United Service Organization office. The staff raffled off presents and there was fudge and Christmas cookies to be had. "Home Alone," with all its snowy all-American holiday scenery, played for a packed, albeit small, house.

While combat operations and essential functions continued, most soldiers here got at least part of Christmas Day off. Tomorrow, it will be back to business as usual.

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