Fort Jackson made sure Soldiers “well satisfied and well fed” for Thanksgiving.
“We had to order over 1,000 pounds of turkey we prepared for them because that’s one of the main items they love so much,” said Minita McDuffie, a dining facility manager on Fort Jackson. “We’ve got over 900 pounds of ham, we've got over 600 pounds of prime rib, and over 600 pounds of shrimp.”
These Thanksgiving meals were served by unit leadership from drill sergeants all the way to Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson’s commander.
Kelly said serving a good Thanksgiving meal is all about family.
“We all leave our family home, a place so familiar and you’ve grown up in a community that raised you,” a join a new team and Family, he said during 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment’s lunch Nov. 23. “You join this Army team – the best team I’ve ever been on.”
“We all wear our family name on our right breast,” he added. Today the Family these young men and women are becoming part of, the U.S. Army, is the name they wear on their left breast. “That is who we are serving today.”
These trainees came from all over the country to train on the installation to become Soldiers. Some have come from more than 1,000 miles away and some as far as a 15-minute drive away.
“It’s kind of surreal,” said Pvt. Joshua Joslin, with Company B, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. “My brother and I actually live 15 minutes away over the river in Cayce (South Carolina).” Joslin and his brother Jonathan are both training with the 3-34th.
Joslin said he was thankful for having his brother with him during training.
“He helped me a lot,” the 28-year-old said. “I had an issue with my knee, and he was my ‘go-getter’ getting me whatever I needed because I couldn’t run up the stairs as well.”
Joslin also gave thanks to God for his opportunities, lauded his drill sergeants and said he cherished the Thanksgiving stories of his fellow trainees.
“We’ve met people from Africa, we’ve had people from Asia, people that joined the Army to get their citizenship,” he said. “So it’s been amazing meeting all the different people, what their different jobs are going to be in the Army. I continue to hear more stories, especially today about how people spend Thanksgiving in their countries, hometowns throughout the country and throughout the world.”