DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA -- While most military personnel and civilians are sound asleep dreaming about the excellent feast they are going to have the next day, there are those who are working throughout the night so others can enjoy that meal.
On Nov. 24, "Sustainer Grill," the Dining Facility (DFAC) for Camp Henry and Camp Walker, was already busy with Soldiers, Non-commissioned Officers, and Korean Nationals preparing for the 2016 Thanksgiving Feast from starting from 1 a.m. Additionally, Sergeant Audie Murphy Club members and Airforce personnel were also on hand to help with other aspects such as decorating the DFAC at 8 a.m. on the previous day.
For everyone working at the DFAC, the Thanksgiving Feast is not just a special meal. It is a competition to serve the best tasting food and provide the best overall dining experience. The different DFACs in their respective areas compete against each other. Then the area winners across are evaluated against each other to determine who provided the best Thanksgiving Feast experience in Korea.
Sgt. 1st Class Anitra E. Randall, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Senior Culinary Management NCO, said, "Thanksgiving is like the 92G's (Senior Culinary Management NCO) Superbowl. Every MOS (Military Occupational Speciality) has something that they look forward to, to compete with, and show that they are the best within their MOS. Thanksgiving is one of those for us. Of course, it's all possible because of the team. I have US Soldiers and Korean Nationals. All of us are a part of this mission."
The DFAC team did an amazing job this year with the theme of fine dining. The DFAC team consists of 27 Korean Nationals and 23 US Soldiers from 5 different units. These units include the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, the 25th Transportation Battalion, the 188th Military Police Company, the 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, and the 75th Medical Company Area Support.
Sgt. Bianca D. Garcia, 168th MMB, Culinary NCO, said, "Soldiers are doing so much work and overtime. They are willing to help becuase it's their first Thanksgiving for a lot of them. They are outstanding, follow orders, and are greatly appreciated."
The main entree consisted of roasted turkey, glazed ham, herb baked salmon, fried shrimp, and multiple side items and desserts. Additionally, the team provided a wide variety of appetizers.
Preparing for such a large scale meal is not easy. The team faced a couple difficulties. For example, it was difficult to find and purchase items in Korea for the fine dining experience.
Furthermore, Pfc. MaeAnne T. Buyat, 75th MCAS, Culinary Specialist, said, "We don't necessarily have all the equipment, but we work with what we got. We also have other duties on top of our culinary duties, so it has been tiring. But, we are working hard to make Thanksgiving enjoyable for everyone."
Although Thanksgiving has already passed, there is never a wrong time to thank those who work hard and provide us with a great meal.
As Sgt. 1st Class Randall said, "My Soldiers and workers put in a lot of work, almost 48 hours straight. I appreciate anybody that comes and experiences the hard work and dedication that the workers and Soldiers have put into this effort."