U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan celebrate Thanksgiving with new family

Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:17 AM ET

Back home, their families are likely gathered around, watching a football game or eagerly preparing a turkey — but for those serving abroad, the traditions are a little different. 

There's a 5:30 a.m. rigorous mountain hike, a round of volleyball, and per military tradition, commanders serving the lower ranks their dinner (no turkey, but ham, stuffing and sparkling apple juice). It's a little taste of home in a war zone:

Video: Soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan spent time reflecting, training and connecting with their new family. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.