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    Tennessee Guardsmen celebrate traditional religious holiday in Ukraine

    Tennessee Guardsmen celebrate traditional religious holiday in Ukraine

    Photo By 1st Lt. Kealy Moriarty | Cpt. Billy Carpenter (right) and other members of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment...... read more read more

    SOLUKY, Ukraine- Despite below freezing temperatures, Soldiers from the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment out of the Tennessee Army National Guard celebrated the religious holiday, Epiphany, with Ukrainian locals, here, Jan. 19.
    This religious holiday, Epiphany, honors the baptism of Jesus Christ and is celebrated throughout Ukraine as well as several European countries.
    Traditionally, the event begins with a religious service and blessing of the water followed by the participants plunge into the cross-shaped ice hole in the frozen lake. After the dive, the locals presented the Soldiers with a traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirt known as the Vyshyvanka. The event concluded with a feast along with traditional song and dance.
    “I had a blast at the Epiphany celebration, it was such a unique experience, and I’m glad to have witnessed and taken part in it,” stated 1st Lt. Caitlin Maguire, one of the U.S. troops to participate. “Sure, it was freezing and uncomfortable in the water, but afterward I felt refreshed and invigorated.”
    Regardless of the surrounding feet of snow, the thick icy layer over the lake and the below freezing temperatures, Soldiers and locals took the courageous plunge into the piercing cold water.
    “Yes it was cold and a challenge, especially being from the South and not completely used to this weather, however, it was a wonderful thing to have the chance to attend this event and become a part of this tradition,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nick Carter.
    The 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment is currently deployed to Ukraine supporting the development of their combat training center.



    Date Taken: 01.19.2019
    Date Posted: 01.22.2019 04:20
    Story ID: 307756
    Location: UA

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    Tennessee Guardsmen celebrate traditional religious holiday in Ukraine