MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- The Madigan Grille Dining Hall typical serves over 400 meals each Thanksgiving, with weeks of meticulous preparation going into the meal. This year's Thanksgiving lunch was no exception. Holiday favorites like roast turkey, honey-baked ham, prime rib, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, Corn O'Brien and more were served in abundance to show appreciation to the patients, guests, and staff.

"Every year the Madigan Grille does a traditional Thanksgiving lunch for our service members, staff, patients and guests to experience us truly opening up the door of our home to enjoy this special lunch as part of the Madigan family," said Lt. Col. Julie Rylander, Nutrition Care Division chief. "We are grateful for our leadership who is also here today to help us serve our patrons in the dining hall as well as deliver meals to our patients in the hospital tower inpatient units."

It's an annual Madigan tradition for leadership to wear their Army Service Uniforms and help serve a Thanksgiving meal to everyone who comes through the line side-by-side with dining hall staff, and also personally deliver meal trays to Madigan's inpatient units.

"This is the best thing to do during the holiday season," said Col. Thomas Bundt, Madigan commander, who along with his wife, Elizabeth Bundt, served patrons of the Madigan Grille and delivered meals to inpatient units in Madigan's hospital tower. "Serving the service members, families, patients, retirees and guests is one of the things we look forward to every single year," said Bundt. "The Madigan Grille staff and their interactions with the patients and guests are amazing. By the time our patients get to the end of the line you can tell the staff has brightened their day. Our Nutrition Care Division and Madigan Grille team is tremendous."

Maj. Gen. Dennis LeMaster, Regional Health Command-Pacific commanding general, and his wife, Traudi Retzlaff, both visited Madigan to serve Madigan Grille patrons, who lined up for a serving of Thanksgiving entrees and sides, as well as deliver meals to inpatient units. "It is a profoundly meaningful experience for my wife Traudi and I to come here and help serve Thanksgiving meals to the staff and patients of Madigan Army Medical Center. It's fun to take part in the fellowship with the community. One of the things that I take away, and also take the greatest pride in, when we travel to the different inpatient rooms to deliver meal trays, is the glowing praise that the patients give the staff of Madigan," said LeMaster. "It's really great to hear."