Being deployed and away from loved ones is difficult for many and this is especially true during the holidays. Knowing that our friends and families are all getting together to celebrate Thanksgiving and share conversation and great food can leave a soldier feeling left out and homesick. The military leadership understands that their service members miss home more during the holidays and they do what they can to raise moral especially while on deployments.
One way the military raises troop moral is through the food served on special occasions. The military food service specialists are the heroes of the holidays. I have been deployed during the holidays many times and the food that is served on Thanksgiving day always surprises me. No matter where you are or how small your camp is, if you have food service specialists you will get a great meal.
At the stateside dining facilities and the mega-FOBs of Afghanistan and Iraq(2004-2011) the meals are, over the top, some of the best I have ever had anywhere. Sometimes I find myself at a small camp in the middle of nowhere and that is where I am most amazed by holiday meals. Somehow the food service specialist manages to produce a full Thanksgiving meal out of a space the size of a backyard shed. This year was no different.
The camp I was at this year sits next door to a U.S. Army camp where the 101st Airborne are running operations. At their camp they have a very small food preparation and serving trailer and, from what I have seen, only one sergeant cooking. Out of that small kitchen came full size roasted turkeys, (that were not dry), baked glazed ham, candied yams, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, green beans, corn on the cob, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (my favorite), and several other things. All of this food poured out of the tiny kitchen for 5 hours straight from 2pm to 7pm and fed every one at that camp twice plus some of us from next door. Amazing!
For the hard work and great food I give a heartfelt salute to that Sergeant. Thank you for making our holiday away from our loved ones a little easier and giving us a little taste of home out here in this desert. It’s service members like you that proves we have the greatest military in the world.