The New York Times
Fort Campbell | December 24, 2012
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Signs of the season have been everywhere at Fort Campbell High School over the last couple of weeks: a student soloist sang the Carpenters' "Merry Christmas, Darling" at the annual holiday concert, a big tree sparkled in the cafeteria under the Screaming Eagle emblem of the 101st Airborne Division, and thousands of parents were deployed yet again in Afghanistan.
It is nothing unusual for Alexandra Alfield, a 17-year-old senior whose father, a Special Forces soldier, has been gone since August and for six of the last nine years. "I do miss him," she said, "but I'm just so accustomed to it.
"Nearly 10,000 men and women from the 101st Airborne, a third of the active-duty troops based here, are either in Afghanistan or getting ready to go. Still more parents here have been deployed with units like the Fifth Special Forces Group and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, known as the Night Stalkers, whose members piloted the helicopters in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden