Tuesday marks the 241st American Independence Day, “the great anniversary festival,” in the words of founding father John Adams.
“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more,” Adams wrote.
While many Americans will no doubt live up to Adams’ expectations, many US soldiers, sailors, Marines, and coastguardsmen will have to celebrate the holiday far from home.
Below, you can see photos of the missions and duties that have taken those men and women away from home this July Fourth.
Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Lucas Mclean, assigned to the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, displays his patriotic body art aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), June 30, 2017.
US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ian Kinkead/Released
Airmen from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit push an HH-60G Pave Hawk into a C-17 Globemaster III, May 15, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.
Loading the helicopter for transport was the first step in a rapid-rescue exercise conducted at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, which was designed to test the maintainer’s and aircrew’s ability to quickly set up and conduct rescue operations away from their home station. US Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan