By Capt Maryjane Porter (412th TEC)December 12, 2011
VICKSBURG, Miss. -- The 412th Theater Engineer Command gathered to reflect, to give thanks and to celebrate the Holidays during Family Day at the George A. Morris Army Reserve Center Dec. 11, 2011 in Vicksburg, Miss.
The event was held in conjunction with the unit's last Battle Assembly for the calendar year.
Maj. Gen. William M. Buckler Jr, commander, 412th TEC, took the opportunity to thank the Soldiers for their endless contribution to the command's success each year. He emphasized the philosophy of 'one team, one fight' and urged everyone to always look after and take care of each other.
The 412 TEC's motto of 'Build to Serve' reinforces the importance to build strong, working relationships to better serve Country and Family.
It was also a welcoming opportunity for Soldiers from all sections to relax and catch up on each other's work, to share with Families and friends, and to reflect on the experiences of 2011 and the possibilities of 2012.
The commander also acknowledged the continued support of Family members and their outstanding job each year. "Soldiers can't do it without them," he said to an applauding audience.
And with the aroma of homecooking and surrounding Christmas decor, it was hard not to ignore the folks behind the scenes who helped made it all possible.
Col. Timothy Samorajski for the Chapel Service, Lt. Col. John Breland as organist, the Family Readiness Group for the Silent Auction, CW5 Kenneth Wiley in full gear as Santa Claus, and Staff Sgt. Cedric Douglas and the Food Service team for the great meal and the endless smiles while serving over 200 people.
Food shortage was surely not an issue, as there was plenty of it to satisfy everyone's appetite.
Douglas and his dedicated team worked long hours to make sure there was enough turkey, dressing, ham, dessert, salad and all the necessary trimmings.
Their passion and commitment to taking care of Soldiers was evident on show day.
"We've been working since Friday to make sure there are no disappointments. Yes, we work long hours but it's rewarding when you see satisfied Soldiers and Families in the end," said Douglas.
Santa Wiley added to the ambiance and patiently listened to a number of children and their share of Christmas wishes.
Sgt. Casey Miller, who brought along daughter Delanie and son Holden, said he was impressed with the turnout and appreciated the smiles and effort of everyone involved. He also recognized the cooks "for an awesome job considering the the time and energy they have to put in to make all this happen."
And in the end when the commander thanked Douglas and his team for the excellent meal, Douglas simply smiled and said it was all in a day's work. "It's our job, it's what we do, and we're happy as long as everyone's happy," he said.