Along with my best wishes for a Safe New Year to our troops in harm’s way and a Happy New Year to all our readers this is the final “installment” of the best photographs taken in 2012 by U.S. military photographers “of troops as they conduct operations around the world, compete in athletic events such as the Olympics, and reunite with their families.”
(All photos and captions are courtesy of the Department of Defense)
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Sheie, right, greets a village elder in northern Qalat, Afghanistan, May 16, 2012. Sheie, who commands Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul, discussed future projects with the village elder.U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Turner
U.S. Army Gen Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, observes a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars participate in a Veterans Day ceremony with other veterans, active duty military, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts at the 8th Army Memorial in Yongsan, South Korea, Nov 11, 2012. DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen
An AH-64 Apache helicopter releases flares over a valley to support coalition special operations forces and Afghan soldiers during a firefight near Nawa Garay village in the Kajran district of Afghanistan’s Daykundi province, April 3, 2012. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Dillon.
Marine Corps Master Sgt. Christopher May, left, and Marine Corps Sgt. Mark Rawson carry an American flag to honor fallen Marines as they prepare to drag a 250-pound Zodiac raft across the finish line of the 4th Annual Recon Challenge on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 15, 2012. The flag honors Recon Marines who were killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz
A U.S. paratrooper heats noodles over a fire on Joint Security Station Hasan in the Gilan district in southern Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, June 12, 2012. The soldier is assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod
Jamie Gray, wife of U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit shooter Staff Sgt. Hank Gray, bites her Olympic gold medal after winning the rifle event for women’s 50-meter at the Royal Artillery Barracks range in London, Aug. 4, 2012.U.S. Army photo by Tim Hipps
A U.S. Army paratrooper provides over watch security to fellow paratroopers and Afghan soldiers after a firefight in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, May 17, 2012. The paratrooper is assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod
Navy Seaman Conrad Schonacher carries Malibu, a 9-year-old military police working dog nearing her retirement, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Oct. 25, 2012. Schonacher, a master-at-arms, is assigned to the Naval Station Pearl Harbor’s military police working dog unit. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Diana Quinlan
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Kight proposes to his girlfriend after disembarking from the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in Bremerton, Wash., March 2, 2012. The John C. Stennis is returning from a seven-month deployment. Kight is a damage controlman. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate
Top Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Micheal A. Cornelio pays respect after placing a wreath at a grave marker during Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Dec. 15, 2012. Cornelio is assigned to Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion on Fort Meade, Md. DOD photo by Sebastian Sciotti Jr.