Military members deployed abroad celebrate Independence Day

As American families gather for fireworks and celebrate the U.S. Independence Day, U.S. military personnel deployed overseas are holding their own celebrations.

Service members at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, rocked out to a U2 cover band. “It gets us to think about independence and why we’re in the Marines,” Lance Corporal Kyle Dye said. The Marines’ website posted a video showing troops how they could make a picnic from their rations, including barbecue sandwiches, apple pie filling squeezed from a tube and “patriotic” sugar cookies.

For its part, the crew of the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, anchored off Haifa, Israel, was looking forward to taking in Israeli sights during shore leave on Independence Day. The four-day stop marks the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier has visited an Israeli port since April 2000. The visit is one way the United States and Israel are reaffirming their commitment to the collective security of Europe and the Middle East.

Row of people standing at naval vessel controls (DOD/U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Gaines)
Sailors stand watch on the bridge aboard the USS George H.W. Bush as it prepares to anchor off Haifa, Israel. The ship is conducting operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (DOD/U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Gaines)