FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 29, 2013) -- Wading through the humdrum of the everyday work week can hinder morale, so the dining facilities decided to show Fort Rucker Soldiers they are appreciated.

Both DFACs held a Soldier appreciation meal during lunch Aug. 22 where Soldiers were treated to a special one-of-a-kind meal for the price of a typical lunch, said Catherine Holmes, food program manager.

"We wanted to do something special for the Soldiers," she said. "We want them to realize that we care about them and appreciate their service."

The 98th Army "Silver Wings" Jazz Band performed for Soldiers at the Bldg. 5914 location, and a decorated cake was cut and served to Soldiers to celebrate.

The meal was more than ordinary, with the serving of crab legs, prime rib, shrimp and rib eye steaks.

"We let them get more than one meat, so the meal is more like a holiday meal in a way because it is heartier," said the food program manager. "Part of the Army's mission is to create healthy war fighters, and that is what we do every day."

Civilians were also allowed to enjoy the special meal, and members of the command team also joined in on the celebration.

"It's just one more way that we can thank them for their service to our country," said Walter Kramer, director of logistics. "We want to promote healthy eating and healthy living, and this is just a small way to encourage those habits."

The event was geared towards reminding Soldiers that they are appreciated for their everyday work, not just the work they do overseas, said Ramonia Brown, Bldg. 5914 dining facilities manager.

"It is nice to come to an environment where they can have a good, full meal with music," she said. "We want to show them that we appreciate them eating here at the dining facilities."

A meal like this will also keep Soldiers motivated, she added.

"If they are having a bad day, then get something wholesome in their stomach, it can to turn the entire day around," she said.

CW4 Brian Umstead, 166th Aviation Brigade, out of Fort Hood, Texas, said that it felt really good to be appreciated for everyday work.

"It makes me happy to see that on an everyday basis there are people out there that appreciate the sacrifices we make," he said. "I usually eat at the DFAC and this is by far the best meal I have had so far.

"It feels like they have put a special touch on everything from the food and atmosphere to the decorations," he added. "It worked -- it is going to be a memorable day. I am glad they decided to do this and I am sure everyone else is, too."

Kramer said that he was approached by several Soldiers who thanked him for the excellent meal.

"It's nice to see their smiles. It is a great feeling when Soldiers come up to you and shake your hand," he said. "It has made my day knowing that they are enjoying themselves."