Troops Celebrate Easter

By Amanda Hanson  - bio | email feedback

Helmand Province, Afghanistan (KAIT) - It is Easter Sunday and Christians across the globe are celebrating.  Overseas, American troops are having to ring in the holiday a little bit differently.  In the Helmand province, there are no traditional Easter festivities, like Easter egg hunts, or special holiday sales.  "Some people didn't even realize it was Easter! If I didn't sing with the church group I probably would have forgotten too - because you don't see those reminders those materialistic reminders. So out here, when people do come to church, you know it's for the right reason," says Lindsay Sayres with the US Marine Corps.

"You really have to watch what you say, you know." says Sgt 1st class Jeffrey Davis.  He says the counter-insurgency fight requires Christian troops to be careful about how they express their religious beliefs in a primarily Muslim society.  "Even just here on Leatherneck, you're around a lot of interpreters and a lot of people who don't believe the same way you do and we're here in a COIN fight. You know, we gotta win the people, and that includes the people that we work with."

It a lot different than in the U.S., where holidays like Christmas and Easter are so popular.  "Yeah we are a minority, and this probably isn't a place where Easter is celebrated much at all," says Lt. Col. Michael Lisowski, with the U.S. army.  Many of the troops say they would rejoice no matter what circumstances, "Maybe if you're a Muslim in the States, I don't think Ramadan or anything means less or more to them. It means what it does because it's a part of their faith," says Lisowski. If anything, it just bring the troops even closer to Christ.