By 1st Lt. Kealy Moriarty, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National GuardNovember 23, 2018
YAVORIV, Ukraine- Soldiers from the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment deployed to Ukraine celebrated Thanksgiving with multinational servicemembers, here at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center, Nov. 22.
U.S. Soldiers were joined for a Thanksgiving feast by servicemembers from Canada, Denmark, Lithuanian, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
"Thanksgiving is being thankful for the people around you, and the different opportunities life presents you throughout the day" stated Spc. Justin Smith.
The Soldiers prepared 12 turkeys, 10 hams, 100 steaks, 18 pies, 400 cookies, and 1,800 deviled eggs. The dinner also included 300 pounds of corn, 400 potatoes, and 20 pounds of cabbage. Soldiers then brought in a bit of home by preparing home-cooked dishes such as pineapple upside cake, banana pudding, peach cobbler, and gumbo.
The feast was prepared for approximately 400 servicemembers, and the leftover food will be delivered to the Soldiers' "adopted" local organization, which provides services for children with special needs.
"Cooking is my passion," stated Staff Sgt. Brandy Rhone, who not only lead the cooking team but also introduced her family's homemade gumbo. "I want to thank all those who helped in preparation for this meal; it really feels like a blessing to be able to give back to my brothers and sisters in arms and the local community."
The dinner began with some words from the leadership, a blessing from the Chaplain and then transitioned into a family-style feast.
Thanksgiving 2018 at the YCTC was a night to remember. Multinationals sat side by side to share this unforgettable experience and understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Many Soldiers shared what Thanksgiving means to them and the importance of being thankful.
"Thanksgiving to me means family, friends and a celebration of everything you have received in the past year," stated 2nd Lt. Ran Pressley.
"I am thankful for my family, my friends and the opportunity to serve in the U.S. Army," said 2nd Lt. Tim Stanczak.
The 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment from the Tennessee Army National Guard is deployed to Ukraine in support of the development of their Combat Training Center.