Fort Stewart soldiers celebrate July Fourth in Iraq

By Lynda Figueredo - bioemail

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - As Americans celebrate freedom in peace -- with parades, picnics and fireworks on the Fourth of July, 3rd Infantry Division soldiers are serving in harm's way overseas.

Some Fort Stewart soldiers who are stationed in Iraq said they planned on sharing the day with their families old and new.

It's Capt. Steven Pyles second Fourth of July in Iraq. With no family barbecue event, no fireworks, but Pyles said he called his wife and children to celebrate the day.

"Unfortunately for me this is my second time, so I have kind of gotten over it, but I am a little saddened," Pyles said. "I always push through it, not being there with them and I thank the good Lord for webcams. I look forward seeing them this fourth, before they head out to have a good time with their friends."

In Iraq, America's Independence Day is a normal work day for most of the U.S. Troops, but the military will unite and share a taste of home.

"Of course, I will miss my family, but I have my family here in the 3rd ID, and we are going to stick it out as usual and have a good time with what we have," said Spc. Beth C Titus.

Soldiers said that by being in Iraq they have gained a new appreciation for the Fourth of July and what it represents.

"I think we all take it for granted, that we are in the states and the things we have, but after working with the Iraqi's pretty closely, and recognizing how little their former government had given, you do take it to heart, all the things that come easily to us in America," Titus said.

"Once I became a member of the Armed Forces, the meaning has changed me," Pyles said. "It is a time for me to celebrate and remember all of the soldiers regardless of their branch who gave their lives, and continue to give their lives and service, selfish sacrifice to this country and to countries across the world."

For Fort Stewart soldiers, the day was a reminder of their duty to their country.

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