Even U.S. service members who find themselves in the middle of a combat zone were able to enjoy a turkey dinner this Thanksgiving, courtesy of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).
The U.S. Army News Service reports that DLA is bringing Thanksgiving to thousands of American soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and West Africa.
U.S. Capt. Frank Hartnett, an ISAF spokesman, told Breitbart News:
U.S. Forces at ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] Headquarters in Kabul enjoyed a great spread with all of the traditional Thanksgiving fixings. There was plenty of Turkey, gravy and stuffing for all the troops. Senior leaders were on-hand and served troops as a gesture of respect for their efforts so far from home. Our international partners also enjoyed taking part in our tradition and gave thanks.
As many as 24,000 U.S. soldiers remained in Afghanistan as of the end of October, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) revealed.
About 2,200 American forces are deployed to West Africa as part of the mission to contain the deadly Ebola virus, and about 1,400 U.S. troops find themselves on the ground in Iraq as part of the advise and train component of the anti-Islamic State efforts there.
DLA is making sure some of those soldiers get a taste of a home-cooked American meal this Thanksgiving.
The Army News Service reveals:
DLA reports that 2,000 pounds of turkey, 300 pounds of cranberry sauce, and 500 pies will be sent to Liberia. To Senegal, DLA sent 600 pounds of turkey, 75 pounds of cranberry sauce, and 200 pies. As many as 5,000 meals will be served between both locations, and Service members will have their choice of apple, cherry, pumpkin, pecan or sweet potato pie.
“Service members in the [U.S. Central Command’s] area of responsibility will also have a Thanksgiving dinner, thanks to DLA’s work,” it adds, then specified:
DLA sent 48,982 pounds of turkey; 8,750 pounds of beef; 4,560 pounds of ham; 6,048 pounds of shrimp; 900 gallons of eggnog and 4,000 pies to feed Service members in Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan. In Afghanistan, service members received 29,184 pounds of turkey; 31,920 pounds of beef; 21,660 pounds of ham; 25,650 pounds of shrimp; 840 gallons of eggnog; and 6,000 pies.
In all, more than 80,000 pounds of Turkey were supplied to U.S. soldiers serving in West Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Kuwait.
“Since they can’t be home for the holidays, our team is dedicated to bringing the holidays to them,” said Anthony Amendolia, a member of the DLA Troop Support subsistence team in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“Whether they’re stationed on a remote base in Afghanistan, or a field hospital in West Africa, they’ll be eating a traditional American Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 27,” he stated.
U.S. commanders throughout the world find ways to allow American troops to eat Thanksgiving dinner. For some of those soldiers, the turkey dinner will provide a respite from the horrors of war.
U.S. Gen. John Campbell, the top commander of the U.S.-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan, and U.S. Sgt. Maj. James Booker, the senior enlisted leader of that coalition, in a joint-message on Thanksgiving Day, said:
Today, Americans at home and abroad will gather with their families and friends, give thanks, and then share a special meal. We invite you to participate in this Thanksgiving tradition as all of us — regardless of our country or faith — have much to be grateful for: our freedoms, our families, and our friends here with whom we serve. Ours is a special bond. We have left our homes, deployed in service to our countries, and dedicated ourselves to delivering peace and stability to the Afghan people who have known neither for far too long. Our historic Coalition is truly a special family that has remained remarkably resilient and effective for more than 13 years.
At home, many Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving eating dinner with their families, watching football, and enjoying the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.