Teams fanning out to begin taping holiday messages
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