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The U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is more than just a prison.While the detention facility has gained infamy for housing enemy combatants since 2002, locking up terrorism suspects is just a small part of the overall mission of those stationed here.
Located on the southeastern end of Cuba, “Gitmo” has served as a vital refueling station and safe port for U.S. ships since 1898. Military members serving here provide regional security for Navy and Coast Guard ships — and guard towers along miles of fence line serve as a constant reminder that they are in unfriendly territory.
Many journalists who travel here only cover the detention facility — and miss the hidden gems.
But time here is far less 'hard' than at any stateside prison filled with Americans. Fact is, the detention facility is one small part of Guantanamo Bay.
Guantanamo Bay is filled with American servicemembers doing their job like they would at any other duty station.
And serving here is an unusual honour that unites them among themselves, if only pushing them a bit farther away from everyone at home.
But all five branches of the military will keep doing what they do here, until someone tells them to stop.
And in the meantime, they'll just do what they've always done: accomplish their mission and try to have some fun.
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