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Thursday 1 June 2023 Dublin: 9°C
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'I'll be home soon': Christmas messages from Irish soldiers serving abroad
There are 600 military personnel serving in 13 different countries around the world.

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 600 military personnel serving in 13 different countries around the world.

For many of our Irish soldiers, Christmas will be spent in the company of their colleagues and not with their families.

The biggest trop missions are the 379 personnel serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the 136 personnel with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria.

Irish soldiers will also be settling down to Christmas dinners in 11 other countries including Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Western Sahara.

In September, our Naval Service joined EUNAVFOR Operation Sophia. This is the first time an Irish Naval ship has deployed on a multinational mission.

Below are some messages that our personnel serving overseas wish to send to their families and friends at home this Christmas.

'I'll be home soon': Christmas messages from Irish soldiers serving abroad
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  • Christmas in Lebanon

    Tpr Wayne Hallon: "Wishing my son Alfie a very Happy Christmas Love you so much son and Daddy will be home soon and I would like to wish my family and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    RQMS William Hallows, Sergeant Major Philip Hayden, and CQMS Michael Stynes from the Curragh: "We want to wish all of our families and friends a merry Christmas and a happy new year!"
  • Christmas in Lebanon

    Corporal Vinnie Jackson: "Hi to all my family and friends and Merry Christmas! I will see you all soon."
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    Corporal Jason Rhattigan and Signalman Darren Carrie: "To my wife Natasha and sons Tyler and Caleb and all of my family and friends. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I can't wait to see ye in the new year. Hope Santa spoils you all."
  • Christmas in Lebanon

    Cpl Lily Ray: "Wishing my girlfriend Celine a very happy Christmas. Miss you and wishing my family and all the gang from Gallbally and the girls from Kiss a wonderful Christmas. Love Lily."

All images provided by the Irish Defence Forces

Read: ‘It’s tough to be away from home’: Varadkar visiting Irish troops in Lebanon

More: Defence Forces officer launches court challenge over report into corruption allegations

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