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
Special Operations soldiers fire on an enemy vehicle during a capabilities exercise hosted by US Army Special Operations Command, June 6, 2017, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
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.