FORT HOOD, Texas Aca,!" The Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial Dining Facility on Fort Hood, Texas opened its doors Thanksgiving Day to military service members and locals to the Fort Hood area for a holiday feast.

The meal afforded the attendees a true Thanksgiving experience with traditional dishes; including turkey, yams, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

Officers and non-commissioned officer with 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division served and socialized during the event.

Leaders throughout the brigade donned gloves and serving utensils to spend their Thanksgiving with the troops.

Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs great because there are so many Soldiers that donAca,!a,,ct have family in the area. This really helps to keep Soldiers from spending money flying home,Aca,!A? said 2nd Lt. Anna York.

York said that celebrating holidays like Thanksgiving is important for Soldiers to be able to take time off and boosts morale.

Special guests stopped by the DFAC to support the festivities including Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, the commanding general for 1st Cavalry Division and. Ms. Diane Delisi, civilian assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Texas Capital Area.

Allyn showed his appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the DFAC by handing out coins to selected troopers. Five Soldiers from different units throughout the brigade said they were honored to be recognized by their commanding general.

Ms. Delisi sat with a group of Soldiers and talked about families and being here on Thanksgiving Day. The Soldiers that sat with her said talking with her brought memories of talking with their families over the dinner table.

Aca,!A"She reminded me of being home,Aca,!A? said Sgt. Heather Goad, the electronic warfare non-commissioned officer in charge for 3rd BCT. Aca,!A"Her family grows all their vegetables for Thanksgiving dinner, and so does mine. She really wanted us to feel special on Thanksgiving.Aca,!A?

Troopers said seeing their leaders behind the food bars serving Thanksgiving dinner made the dinner even more special.

As 3rd Brigade prepares to deploy, events like this one boost morale and make Soldiers feel at home.