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Christmas on the Frontlines

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All over the globe this Christmas, American servicemen and women will be celebrating the holidays apart from their families. For some of them, it's not the first time; back to back deployments and mandatory extensions mean there will be an empty place at many Christmas dinners again this year.

Overseas, a group of dedicated troops made the best of it and did what they could to keep the holiday spirit.

Click play to watch CBN News reporter Chuck Holton's story from Iraq.

Here in Iraq, packages from home are filling mail rooms and boosting morale. Decorations are springing up everywhere, from the most remote patrol base to the Third Infantry Division headquarters, where Major General Rick Lynch addressed the troops on Saturday.

"We're ensuring right now that our children and their children can have peaceful Christmases for many years to come," Lynch said.

On the front lines, it falls to the chaplains to remind the troops of the reason for the season.

Chaplain Darren Turner is a graduate of Regent University and he has big plans for the big day.

"All of our soldiers will get a Christmas stocking - candy and goodies and Christmas cards from kids in schools and churches. There's a little bit of sadness being away from home this time of year, but hopefully our activities planned for the holiday season will help lift them up a little bit," Turner said.

Not surprisingly, many soldiers look to their faith to get them through. And while they'd all rather be home with their families, these brave men and women take solace in the knowledge that guarding our freedoms is one of the best gifts they could give to the people they care about back at home.