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"Kentucky, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" Thousands of miles from home, U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan celebrate Christmas. With plates stacked high, fellow soldiers enjoy a Christmas meal inside Bagram Air Base outside Kabul. One soldier says being with her military family is the next best way to celebrate Christmas away from home. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAJOR LESLIE DESANDEN, U.S DEPUTY INSPECTOR GENERAL, SAYING: "It is always hard to be away from my family, family friends back in the States, but I have my military family and we are just this close as my blood relatives, so I am okay with them. I can share Christmas with my friends and family down range, and it is a just great experience." There are still 43,000 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, as the United States and Afghanistan continue to work on a security deal that will determine how many U.S. troops remain there past 2014. The troops still face challenges from armed groups like the T