Fort Stewart soldiers in Iraq reflect on July Fourth

By Lynda Figueredo - bioemail

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Many 3rd Infantry Division soldiers are serving overseas, protecting freedoms who Americans cherish this Fourth of July.

Some Fort Stewart soldiers currently serving in Iraq reflected on comrades who paid the ultimate price for American principles and freedoms.

As Americans watched the night sky explode with fireworks in celebration of the birth of the U.S., Fort Stewart soldiers hoped Americans paused to appreciate the heroism of soldiers present and past.

"It's an opportunity for us to reflect on the great history of our nation, and the freedom and liberties we enjoy and celebrate daily," said 1st Sgt. Harley C. Crawford.

"For me, as a soldier, it is important. It gives me a chance to think about what soldiers have done in the past, and how they lost their lives, and given their sacrifice to allow us to have a free country," said Maj. Steve Ranieri.

They remembered how they celebrated Independence Day in year's past.

"Hopefully, I have maybe some grilled food to remind me of home and those cook outs, and just take a moment to call back to my family and wish them a happy Fourth of July," Ranieri said.

The holiday was also a time for the soldiers to share the story of how the country's founding fathers guaranteed us the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and self-government.

"I do have opportunity to talk to Iraqi officers and I find they are very interested in knowing about our culture and history," Ranieri said. "It is amazing to see how thankful they are for now having an opportunity for their country to have a democracy, and freedoms similar to what we have."

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