for Our Military Men and Women

by Karen Fliedner, OCF Assoc. Ed.

Across the expanse of our nation on Thanksgiving Day, Americans will gather with family and friends around a table brimming with the blessings of God's graciousness to us.

After words of thanks or prayers, plates of turkey and side dishes galore will be consumed with gusto before the celebration of this truly American holiday continues: playing games or sports, watching movies, napping.

Or gearing up for Black Friday. Let the races begin.

And half a world away, our deployed military men and women will do similar things at their duty stations, FOBs, or aboard ships. They will wait patiently in long lines to get slices of turkey, maybe prime rib or Cornish hen, complete with all the trimmings, and eat in dining areas decorated in the hues of autumn--sometimes even with the workers dressed in Pilgrim and Native American garb.

Often the officers are the ones serving the food, carving the turkeys, or dishing out the holiday treats to their troops. It's a special way of thanking their troops for their diligent service.

"Army tradition is that officers come together and serve chow on Thanksgiving," said CPT Elijah Ward.... "This is a chance to get out here and serve a great meal to our Soldiers."

Activities for those whose locations unable to get the Armed Forces Network for pro football games airing stateside will include volleyball, ultimate football, horseshoes, softball, and basketball. And some will opt to take advantage of the break from daily operations and just relax.

For all too many who have spent repeated Thanksgivings away from home, separated from their loved ones and familiar surroundings, their brothers and sisters in arms become the family they celebrate Thanksgiving with--while thoughts of home are never far away in their hearts and minds.

"Friends and battle buddies get you through, someone you get along with and someone you trust going through the same things you are going through," said SPC Arnie Greatheart

As we gather around our dinner tables on Thanksgiving Day, this truly American holiday is a time to express sincere thankfulness to God for His graciousness and blessings in our lives. No matter where you may be this Thanksgiving, please take a few minutes to thank God and to pray for our men and women in uniform and their loved ones.

Pray especially for those who are separated from one another because of military obligations. They are the ones paying the enormous cost for our nation's freedoms by their selfless sacrifices.


SPC Michael, Thanksgiving Sports Day at FOB Bernstein, Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System website

Fonte, PO3 Ernesto Hernandez, A Thanksgiving Away from Home, Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System website