Best holiday deployed moments of 2014

By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Let’s face it, being deployed during major holidays feels a bit like getting a lump of coal in your stocking. Some deployed locations have Wi-Fi access for Airmen to chat with their friends and family back home during these special times. However, there are still many places so small and remote they don’t have the communication infrastructure to accommodate commercial internet access.

To overcome these challenges at some “undisclosed” locations, Airmen rely on different base services to help them feel the spirit of the holidays. In 2014, there were five events that warmed our hearts, and brought a slice of home to our Airmen serving at deployed locations around the globe.

Independence Day celebration

Fourth of July photo
U.S. Air Force Airmen pose for a photograph during a Fourth of July celebration at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, July 4, 2014. Food and prizes were given and Airmen played games like volleyball and tug-of-war to celebrate the occasion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez/Released)

U.S. Air Forces Central Band spreads holiday cheer

Band photo
Tech. Sgt. Krista Joyce, U.S. Air Forces Central Command band vocalist, performs alongside Senior Airman Shawn Hanlon, keyboardist, Tech. Sgt. Paul McWhirter, guitarist, and Staff Sgt. Jesse Thompson, electric guitarist, during a performance at the 455th Expeditionary Medical Group Dec. 18, 2014 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The band performed at multiple venues to spread holiday cheer to Airmen across AFCENT. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz/released)

Tops in Blue rocks the house for deployed Airmen

Tops in Blue photo
Senior Airman Alan Turnmire, 455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron equipment journeyman, is the center of attention during a performance by the women of Tops in Blue at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan Dec. 24, 2014. For 60 years, Tops in Blue has served as an expeditionary entertainment unit comprised of Airmen who travel across the globe performing for members of the Air Force family. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz/released)

Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

COMACC visit photo
Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Air Combat Command commander, shakes hands with an Airman during a Thanksgiving celebration Nov. 27, 2014, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. During the dinner, Carlisle answered questions and expressed his gratitude for their sacrifices and dedication to duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz/released)

U.S. service members enjoy Qatari hospitality

Airman on camel photo
Staff Sgt. Mariko Frazee, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs broadcaster, rides a camel during the Qatari Minister of Defense’s beach house event, Dec. 15, 2014, near Al Khor, Qatar. Qatar Minister of Defense Maj. Gen. Hamad Al-Attiyah invites U.S. service members, Department of Defense civilians and their families stationed at Al Udeid Air Base and Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, to his beach house every a year as a gesture of friendship and good will. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins/Released)

Our “total force” family does its best to rally around and support our deployed Airmen and their families, especially with Air Force units like the AFCENT Band and Tops in Blue that focus on boosting morale.