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Senior Airman Ryan Nelson tapes a mock holiday greeting during a training session in San Antonio. Four teams from the Army and Air Force Hometown News Service will soon travel to about 70 overseas installations, including 10 forward-deployed locations, to tape messages from Department of Defense ID cardholders stationed overseas to families and friends in the States.
Senior Airman Ryan Nelson tapes a mock holiday greeting during a training session in San Antonio. Four teams from the Army and Air Force Hometown News Service will soon travel to about 70 overseas installations, including 10 forward-deployed locations, to tape messages from Department of Defense ID cardholders stationed overseas to families and friends in the States. (Lance Cheung / U.S. Air Force)

Troops stationed overseas can start spreading holiday cheer as early as Monday when teams from the Texas-based Army and Air Force Hometown News Service starts making the rounds to tape greetings for family and friends back home.

Selected installations in Europe, the Pacific and the Middle East are among about 70 overseas installations in 11 countries, Guam and Alaska to be visited. Organizers hope to gather approximately 15,000 individual messages, according to Tom Taylor, chief of broadcast news for the Hometown News Service.

In a prepared statement, the service said the teams will visit approximately 10 forward-deployed locations.

Servicemembers, family members and Department of Defense civilians who will be stationed outside of the U.S. during the holiday season can record the greetings by going to a specified location, filling out forms indicating where family members live, and then standing in front of the camera to deliver the message.

Specific information on locations and times is available through installation public affairs offices, the statement read, and those wishing to participate should call for details.

PAO officials also have included additional rules for those wishing to participate, such as soldiers must be in uniform for the taping. Also, sponsors must accompany family members during the tapings unless the sponsor is deployed.

However, there is no limit to the number of greetings participants can record if their relatives live in different parts of the United States.

When the Hometown News teams return to San Antonio, they will send the greetings to television and radio stations in the person’s area.

The greetings program began in 1984 to recognize servicemembers serving in a variety of missions outside the United States at a time of the year when they will miss sharing the holidays with their families, according to the Hometown News release.

Get in your greetings

Following is the schedule for the holiday greetings teams in Europe and Afghanistan:

Monday: Darmstadt, Germany; Aviano Air Base, Italy;

Tuesday: Babenhausen, Germany; Aviano AB

Wednesday: Wiesbaden, Germany; Vicenza, Italy

Thursday: Baumholder, Germany; Vicenza

Friday: Hanau, Germany

Sept. 19: Würzburg, Germany; Izmir, Turkey

Sept. 20: Schweinfurt, Germany

Sept. 21: Kitzingen, Germany; Incirlik Air Base, Turkey

Sept. 22: Mannheim, Germany; Incirlik AB

Sept. 23: Heidelberg, Germany; Incirlik AB

Sept. 24: Heidelberg

Sept. 26: Stuttgart, Germany; RAF Alconbury, England

Sept. 27: Stuttgart; RAF Croughton, England

Sept. 28: RAF Lakenheath, England

Sept. 29: Landstuhl, Germany; RAF Lakenheath

Sept. 30: Ramstein Air Base, Germany; RAF Mildenhall, England

Oct. 1: Ramstein AB

Oct. 3: Kaiserslautern, Germany; Lajes Field, Azores

Oct. 4: Kaiserslautern; Lajes Field

Oct. 6: Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

Oct. 7: Spangdahlem AB

Oct. 10: Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan

Oct. 12-21: Afghanistan

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