American Independence Day is “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 no doubt live up to Adams’ expectations each year, many US soldiers, sailors, Marines, and coastguardsmen 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 on July Fourth.