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    KAF celebrates Bulgarian Independence Day with ceremony

    KAF celebrates Bulgarian Independence Day with ceremony

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class John Etheridge | Col. Nikola Mitev, commander of the 27th Bulgarian Contingent for Afghanistan, gives a...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. John Etheridge 

    ISAF Regional Command South

    KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The 27th Bulgarian Contingent hosted a ceremony at the Fest Tent on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, to celebrate the 106-year anniversary of Bulgarian Independence Day, Sept. 22, 2014.

    The ceremony was attended by Maj. Gen. Michael Bills, Regional Command-South and Combined Joint Task Force-1 commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Barteky, RC-South and CJTF-1 CSM, and by representatives of NATO and Afghan partners.

    As Bulgarian troops stood at attention, the master of ceremonies read the history of Bulgarian independence to the audience, describing how the holiday celebrated on the anniversary of Sept. 22, 1908, is the culmination of three important days celebrated for Bulgarian independence as the country moved from being a vassal of the Ottoman Empire to self-rule.

    Col. Nikola Mitev, the Bulgarian contingent commander for Afghanistan, gave a speech saying that he was honored to speak before his troops on this holiday, especially while being deployed thousands of miles from home while working with International Security Assistance Force partners.

    “The brilliance of the actions done 106 years ago will light up the hopes and self-confidence of the Bulgarian population throughout the next centuries,” said Mitev. “Let us be their well-deserved inheritors with the ability to create our own history, side by side with our partners from the European Union and NATO.”

    He also spoke about the importance of independence and how each nation seeks and finds its identity through this value.

    “Only independent nations can build a mighty union. It is only they who can respect and honor the independence of not only their own country, but other countries also.”

    Mitev also mentioned the future challenge of his countrymen in Afghanistan.

    “For us, the soldiers of the 27th Contingent, as part of the multinational security forces in the new non-combat ‘Resolute Support,’ is a true challenge to be equal and responsible partners and be a part of the success…ensuring prosperity of the state of Afghanistan,” he said.

    After Mitev’s speech, the master of ceremonies read through a list and announced the names of Bulgarians soldiers to be honored with special recognition for their good work and loyalty over the last year.

    Following the ceremony, the guests and participants were treated to food while two soldiers dressed in traditional attire entertained the audience with traditional Bulgarian dances.

    Command Sgt. Maj. Stefan Denev of the Bulgarian contingent for Afghanistan said that he has spent many Independence Days deployed abroad and that he and his soldiers are honored to share the celebration with their partner counties.

    “The soldiers miss their families during the holidays but they highly appreciate the opportunity to celebrate together with our partners,” he said.



    Date Taken: 09.22.2014
    Date Posted: 09.23.2014 03:35
    Story ID: 142953

    Web Views: 229
    Downloads: 0