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Task Force Currahee service members discuss the importance of Armed Forces Day

Written by U.S. Army Sgt. Luther L. Boothe Jr.
Task Force Currahee Public Affairs

The CurraheesFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionPaktika Province, Afghanistan – Service members from Task Force Currahee, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division deployed to Pakitka Province in Afghanistan’s Regional Command-East took a moment from their day-to-day routine to reflect on the importance of being honored by Armed Forces Day.

Armed Forces Day was established in 1949 as a way to acknowledge service members of the U.S. armed forces.  This year’s theme is “United in Strength”.

(From Left to Right) U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Eric Shaner, U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Lars Swanson, U.S. Army Sgt. Karl Keller,  and U.S. Army Spc. Tommy Rowland, all attached to Task Force Currahee, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division render a salute May 21st, in recognition of Armed Forces Day.  (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Luther L. Boothe Jr., Task Force Currahee Public Affairs)
(From Left to Right) U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Eric Shaner, U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Lars Swanson, U.S. Army Sgt. Karl Keller, and U.S. Army Spc. Tommy Rowland, all attached to Task Force Currahee, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division render a salute May 21st, in recognition of Armed Forces Day. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Luther L. Boothe Jr., Task Force Currahee Public Affairs)

“Our service men and women shoulder the burden of defense as one of the responsibilities of citizenship in this free country,” said Melvin Laird, former Secretary of Defense.

 “Having participated in protecting our rights and having met oppression on the battlegrounds of the world, they are able to appreciate and savor the blessings of citizenship in the country they serve.”

Service members deployed around the world will not get to participate in the parades, ceremonies and military displays, but they said they still appreciate the recognition.

“Being deployed to Afghanistan gives this day a special meaning,” said U.S. Army Capt. Yakena Douglas, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division and native of Jackson, MI. “The day is designed to honor our military as a whole, and we are here, working together to improve the lives of the people of Afghanistan—it means that much more to know the people back home are recognizing our efforts and taking time out of their day to think of us.”

Members of TF Currahee, who have been deployed to Afghanistan since August 2010, said they are proud to be united with their Afghan counterparts during their second deployment to Paktika Province.

“We have had operations going on in Afghanistan for 10 years and this is 4th Brigade’s second trip to this area in three years,” said Douglas. “Perhaps the best part of this day is being able to sit back and reflect on the unified accomplishments of our military.”

U.S. Army Spc. Tommy Rowland, an all-source intelligence analyst with HHC, 4th BCT, and native of Mclellanville, SC said he knows the support of the American people is not limited to a specific holiday.

“We have been here nearly a year partnered with our Afghan National Security Force counterparts giving our best efforts at being ‘United in Strength’,” said Rowland. “Throughout this deployment and every day I have been a member of the Armed Forces, I have felt nothing but support from the American people. For that, I am grateful and want them to know that we appreciate them and hope that they enjoy Armed Forces day as we pause to be thankful for their support.”

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