By David VergunNovember 25, 2015
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 25, 2015) -- This Thanksgiving, logisticians will have delivered 95,000 pounds of turkey, ham, and beef to serve Soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan, according to William King, logistics management specialist, Army G-4.
In addition, 834 gallons of eggnog, 1,854 pies, 500 cakes, and "lots of stuffing, nuts, gravy, marshmallows, and other goodies," have been sent their way, he said.
"As we celebrate with our own families and friends and reflect on what Thanksgiving means to us, keep in mind our Soldiers stationed in harm's way and their families who are saving an empty seat this holiday," King said.
"Being away from home and their families during the holidays is tough enough without considering the difficult and dangerous conditions our service men and women face," said Anthony Amendolia, with the Defense Logistics Agency's Troop Support Subsistence supply chain. "Since they can't be home for the holidays, our employees are dedicated to bringing the holidays to them" with Thanksgiving meals.
"Countries set different parameters causing us to take atypical approaches to meet all needs, such as buying from foreign approved sources and use of more pre-cooked poultry," Amendolia said.
Subsistence employees began gathering holiday meal requirements from the military services in May so that they could order and transport the food in time, he said.
"Whether they're on a remote base in Afghanistan or aboard a ship in the Indian Ocean, we take pride in ensuring our service members have a taste of home for the holidays," Amendolia said.
MANY SOLDIERS DEPLOYED
To provide a sense of numbers of deployed Soldiers over Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey said some 190,000 Soldiers are serving in 90 countries, keeping America safe. Dailey spoke at a noncommissioned officers solarium several days before Thanksgiving at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visited National Guard Soldiers at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, Nov. 24. He asked each Soldier to thank their families and employers back home for their support throughout this holiday season.
"It's a tough time to be away from your family, no doubt about it," Grass said. "It's hard to be away from your loved ones, but take care of each other and look out for each other during this time."
SPIRIT OF GIVING
Many Soldiers in deployed units have been volunteering to help others this holiday season. For instance, Soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade served lunch to dignitaries from their host nation in Vicenza, Italy, Nov. 24.
NCOs from across the Kaiserslautern Military Community, in Germany, distributed Thanksgiving care packages to junior Army and Air Force personnel, Nov. 21.
Many Soldiers stateside have been busy volunteering in their local communities and on-post as well. For example, Soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, served Thanksgiving meals to veterans at the Nashville Veterans Affairs Hospital, Nov. 19.
Also, Soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, and volunteers from the local community conducted a food drive, Nov. 20, to help those in need.
(Editor's note: Contributing to this article were: Michael Tuttle, DLA Troop Support public affairs; David Chace, public affairs officer, National Guard Bureau; Davide Dalla Massara, 173rd Airborne Brigade public affairs; Sgt. Maj. Michael Pintagro, 21st Theater Sustainment Command; Capt. Eric Hudson, 60th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) public affairs; and, Staff Sgt. Christopher Calvert, Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs.)