News: Soldiers respect Afghan hosts during holy holiday
Story by Sgt. Thomas Duval
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers and service members, serving as part of the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan, joined their Afghan counterparts to respect and observe the month-long holy observance known as Ramazan.
Soldiers from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, as well as all ISAF soldiers, are working to strengthen the trust and respect they share with their local Afghan, host-nation communities.
Policies specific to the celebration of Ramazan were observed from Aug. 1-29.
First of all, during Ramazan, believers of the Muslim faith spend the daylight-hours fasting, which is believed to burn away all their sins, and was created to honor the month in which the Quran was revealed.
The meaning and importance of Ramazan has been observed, respected and reflected upon by faithful Muslims worldwide for centuries and specifically by U.S. and coalition forces since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom and other recent contingency operations.
“We want to ensure that our soldiers understand the important of Ramazan here in Afghanistan, so as soldiers are out conducting missions they will demonstrate the utmost respect to our Afghan hosts, ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] partners and all of the Afghan people,” said Capt. Douglas Brazier, information operations officer for 1/25th.
Because soldiers need every ounce of strength for the demands of military operations, military personnel are not required to fast, but instead show respect to the religious beliefs of those around them by observing additional guidelines.
Eating and drinking indoors, and limiting the amount of visible or exposed skin shown while wearing casual clothing, such as wearing the improved physical fitness uniform trunks or shorts and short-sleeve t-shirt only during officially scheduled physical fitness times.
All Arctic Wolves’ soldiers and other coalition members were encouraged to make these small sacrifices to respect and observe Ramazan customs.