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Christmas dinner with the Afghans Sgt. 1st Class E. L. Craig

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Singerhouse (right), senior enlisted adviser 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, poses with Command Sgt. Maj. Muhammad Asif, senior enlisted adviser, 4th Afghan National Army Brigade, 201st ANA Corps, during a Christmas dinner at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Dec. 18, 2013. Singerhouse’s battalion hosted the Christmas dinner as a chance for local ANSF leaders to partake in a major U.S. custom. The 2nd Battalion is part of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class E.L. Craig, Task Force Patriot PAO)

LAGHMAN, Afghanistan – There were holiday decorations all around the room and not one, but two Christmas trees in the dining facility’s reserved room on Forward Operating Base Fenty, Dec. 18, 2013.

Leaders of 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division invited local leaders from Nangarhar province and the Afghan National Security Forces from the area over for Christmas dinner. Tonight would continue the annual custom that strengthens the friendships of two vastly different cultures.

“This is extremely important for our relationship with our Afghan partners,” said Lt. Col. Al Boyer, commander of 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment. “As part of respect for their culture, we spend time honoring and participating in their holidays, so we decided to invite them to participate in one of ours.”

It was taco night at the dining facility and the command had traditional Afghan food brought in to offer variety to the meal.
According to Boyer the event was well received.

“Everyone’s here,” said Boyer. “We have every single Nangarhar ANSF leader here, as well as several local Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan leaders, so the generals with their deputies, as well as the deputy governor of Nangarhar, to celebrate one of our holidays.”

During the event Col. Mario Diaz, commander of 4th BCT, 10th Mountain Division spoke to the group, expressing his appreciation for everyone’s attendance and emphasizing the importance Nangarhar plays in his brigade’s mission in Regional Command East, north of Kabul.

“What is present in Nangarhar is a special bond of friendship and respect and it is my honor to be here with you today to share in the holidays,” said Diaz. “We use the holidays to focus on ourselves as a people, to enjoy our families and look forward to the future.”

During the event, 2nd Battalion’s command presented a gift to each Afghan leader and, although this was a time to mingle and enjoy food, this was also a chance to exchange important dialogue between the leaders present.

“We are able to provide a lot in the way of advising our ANSF counterparts, but we also have extreme value in our assistance and they look forward to having that interaction with us,” said Diaz.

The command has specific ideas of what they wanted the Afghan leaders attending to leave with.

“I want them to take away the fact that we have an understanding of each other’s culture, that we’re very cognizant of their culture and they are cognizant of ours, and they are,” said Boyer. “That’s why they all showed up, out of respect for our culture and their willingness to celebrate our holiday with us.”


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Hanif Ghardiwal (left), Nangarhar deputy governor, gives...
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U.S. Army Lt. Col. Al Boyer expresses his appreciation...
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U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Singerhouse (right),...


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Christmas dinner with the Afghans, by SFC E. L. Craig, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:12.23.2013

Date Posted:12.23.2013 00:59

Location:LAGHMAN, AF

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