Tonight will be the 12th Christmas Eve that U.S. servicemen and women will be in Afghanistan, and while the military does its best to play some music from back home and offer a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, it's a night that many troops miss their families the most.
USA Today reports that some soldiers and their loved ones lament that "many Americans don't think much at this season about the thousands of troops spending Christmas fighting for their country."
"It's almost like Vietnam, the forgotten war," the Pennsylvania father of two young soldiers half a world away told USA Today. "It's upsetting. There are guys over there doing a job for kind of meager pay. It's a tough existence. It's like people have forgotten about them, other than families and friends."
More than 100 soldiers and airmen from the Idaho Air National Guard and the Idaho Army National Guard will be spending their Christmas in Afghanistan.
Since September 2001, more than 5,000 members of the Idaho National Guard have been deployed to combat zones across the world.
And Christmas wreaths and flowers will mark the gravestones of at least 66 Idahoans, including several civilians, who died in U.S. military action since September 2001.