KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany- For Soldiers stationed overseas the holidays can be a tough reminder of the family and traditions left back home.

Dining Facilities across Germany brought those traditions here by strutting their culinary expertise and decorating the DFACs with Thanksgiving flare.

Maj. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, the commanding general of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, also helped to spread the holiday cheer, Nov. 23-25 by visiting 212th Combat Support Hospital's DFAC at Miesau Army Depot, the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team's Bayonet Inn and Heart of the Rock CafAfA DFACs in Baumholder, 21st Theater Sustainment Command's Clock Tower CafAfA on Kleber Kaserne here, and 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery's DFAC at Rhine Ordnance Barracks.

The DFACs were also competing for the Commanding General's Trophy.
They competed in categories such as the DFAC overall winner, which was the DFAC that demonstrated the most outstanding food service and skills, best decorated cakes, best ice cravings, and best centerpiece.

Preparation for the meal started well in advance of Thanksgiving.

"A lot of hard work went into this DFAC. All of the displays and stuff like that, that's the hardest part," said Sgt. 1st Class Charles Miller, the DFAC manager at the Bayonet Inn. "The guys that I had working, they put a lot of hard work into it." Miller said that it took them about two weeks to get all the small cornucopias done, the bigger ones took about four days and the cakes took them about three or four days to finish. "They were working on the gingerbread houses for about two weeks, so it took a bit of time to get everything done," he added

For some of the food service workers, it was a time for them to show off their skills.

"We love to be able to serve. We love to be able to show our skills," said Sgt. Toya Brinson, a nutritional care specialist with the 212th CSH. "Most of the time during the year we don't get the opportunity to really shine and this is the one time a year that we really get to go all out. It's a great opportunity and a great feeling."

That dedication to their craft was appreciated by the Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members who took part in the Thanksgiving meals.

"I think overall it looked good. It shows a lot of Thanksgiving spirit," said Michael Jackson, who works for Defense Finance and Accounting Service and is the husband of Master Sgt. Natalie Jackson, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 21st TSC secretary of the general staff section.

The winners of the competition were: 170th Infantry BCT's Heart of the Rock CafAfA DFAC won the 21st TSC Commanding General's Best Dining Facility and the Bayonet DFAC won best centerpiece. 212th CSH's DFAC in Miesau was the runner-up for the same category and also won best ice carving. 5th Battalion 7th Air Defense Artillery's DFAC at Rhine Ordnance Barracks won best decorated cake.

The winners will be presented with their awards at a location and date to be determined.