JBLM prepares for socially-distanced Thanksgiving holiday
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Tech. Sgt. Sarah Butcher starts to carve a turkey during the Thanksgiving Day meal at the Olympic Dining Facility, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
(Photo Credit: Oshawn Jefferson)
JBLM prepares for socially-distanced Thanksgiving holiday
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: JBLM MWR) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – The return of cooler weather and the daily need for umbrellas and rain gear are excellent reminders for service members, families and community members on Joint Base Lewis-McChord that the holiday season is well on its way.

This year may look a little different however, especially as rates of COVID-19 continue to increase across local communities, the state and the nation.

“Healthy living remains an important way to fight COVID-19 and other diseases during the holidays,” said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Luke Mease, JBLM chief of preventive medicine. “Sleep, physical activity and diet keep our immune systems ready and effective.”

The medical professionals at Madigan Army Medical Center suggest getting your flu shot could help to protect your health and prevent the spread of flu and COVID-19 at home and while traveling.

“It’s important to get your flu shot, particularly this year,” Mease said. “A recently-published study reported that people who received flu shots last winter were less likely to contract COVID-19. While it won’t protect directly against COVID, the authors believe that it makes the immune system more active against other infections.”

Mease said that because we are keeping our physical distance and avoiding large groups, it’s more important this year that we don’t allow ourselves, our families or our squad mates to become isolated.

“We can and must reach out to others,” Mease said. “We may celebrate this year with smaller groups than we are used to, but we can still connect, be kind and care for those at risk or in need.”

In the spirit of giving thanks to others, the JBLM warrior restaurants are hosting socially-distanced feasts Nov. 25 and 26 to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

“This year we’ll be serving a robust Thanksgiving meal,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel Barker, I Corps G4 food adviser. “Diners can expect all of their Thanksgiving favorites -- from turkey and stuffing to potatoes and fresh baked pies.”

During the holiday meal, dining facilities on base will continue to operate at 25% capacity and will ensure social distancing is being practiced in lines, at meal stations and at dining tables. For diners that would rather not dine in, the warrior restaurants are also offering take out options.

“We will be limiting dine-in capacity to ensure proper social distancing, in accordance with state guidelines,” Barker said. “I’d recommend nonservice members (civilians) to come by during the later lunch hours to avoid the initial lunch crowd.”

Lancer Bistro, Ghost Inn, Courage Inn and the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) warrior restaurant will serve their Thanksgiving meal from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 25. The McChord Field warrior restaurant will serve its meal from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 26. The Madigan Army Medical Center warrior restaurant will not be open to the public this year.

The JBLM Morale, Welfare and Recreation office is also offering convenient options to facilitate your Thanksgiving plans.

“This year we are offering two Thanksgiving meal options in two different sizes,” said Dorte West, MWR business manager. “Customers can purchase entire meals cooked and ready-to-eat or a take-and-bake option, with everything prepared and ready for the oven.”

The first meal option feeds six to eight people with a choice of roasted turkey or glazed ham, homestyle cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, homemade cranberry sauce with pickled peaches and a homemade pumpkin pie.

The second meal option feeds eight to 12 and includes a roasted turkey and a glazed ham, all the sides and desserts from the first meal option and a home-baked apple pie.

“We are accepting orders through Nov. 23,” West said. “If customers have any questions about orders, pricing or pickup, they can feel free to give us a call!”

West and her catering team can be contacted at 253-966-4998 or 253-966-3987 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Orders will be ready for pickup between noon and 6 p.m. Nov. 25 and between 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 26.

“Our service members and their families have worked and endured so much this year through the pandemic,” West said. “We’re happy to take on the work and stress of holiday meal preparation so they can spend more quality time with their families.”




Joint Base Lewis-McChord website


Madigan Army Medical Center


JBLM Warrior Restaurants


JBLM MWR Thanksgiving Take Away