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U.S. Marines with Marine Attack Squadron 513 raise their hands during an Independence Day ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, July 4. The ceremony, “Operation Red, White and True,” offered U.S. troops in Kandahar the opportunity to reenlist and reaffirm their oaths of service. “America can never thank you enough,” said Petraeus. “I think it’s important to note that unlike the soldiers of my generation, each of you joined knowing there was a possibility you’d be facing hostile combat activity.” The Marine attack squadron is deployed from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., to Kandahar.

Photo by Pfc. Sean Dennison

Yuma Marines celebrate Independence Day in Afghanistan

5 Jul 2011 | Pfc. Sean Dennison

US Marines with Marine Attack Squadron 513, deployed from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Airz., celebrated Independence Day at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, July 4 

Events at the Afghanistan airfield included an oath reaffirmation ceremony headed by Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. Forces Afghanistan and NATO International Security Assistance Force commander, while the Marine attack squadron held its own barbeque at the squadron’s hangar.

“America can never thank you enough,” said Petraeus. “I think it’s important to note that unlike the soldiers of my generation, each of you joined knowing there was a possibility you’d be facing hostile combat activity.”

“Being in Afghanistan on the birthday of our nation is one of the most rewarding moments of my life,” said Sgt. James Vickrey, Marine Attack Squadron 513’s career planner. “While it is not easy to be away from my loved ones on this day, I know that in some small part that what I am doing on this is making this world a better place to live.”

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