DLA Readies Holiday Meals for Afghanistan-deployed Troops

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 19, 2012 – This holiday season, at more than 200 locations in Afghanistan, service members will dine on a feast reminiscent of home, a Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Subsistence senior official said today.

Rich Faso, the supply chain’s director of customer operations, lauds the workforce and industry partners for making the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts possible.

“The personnel at DLA Troop Support and our servicing vendors take great pride in ensuring that our warfighters in distant, austere environments get as close to a traditional holiday meal as possible,” he said.

Deliveries of more than 60,000 pounds of beef, 20,000 pounds of ham, 45,000 pounds of turkey, 28,000 sweet potatoes and 5,800 pies have been made across the country and are ready to be prepared for distribution to overseas-deployed troops.

via Defense.gov News Article: DLA Readies Holiday Meals for Afghanistan-deployed Troops.

In 12 years, I was only in the field for one Thanksgiving. And in fact, that was in the cantonment area at Graf, so it wasn’t that bad. Graf was only about 25 miles from our home base. For once, our chain of command did something sensible, and invited family members to Graf, laid on bus transportation, and we had a big old family meal.

For the most part, I was always pretty happy with Army chow. And the Army has a long history of going to great lengths to make sure that Thanksgiving meals are top notch. Heck, even as a kid, Dad would take us out to the mess hall at the Navy base for Thanksgiving.

There’s been a tradition the last couple decades in the Army that for Thanksgiving and Christmas, in the mess hall, the chain of command will appear (in Dress Blue no less!) and serve the troops. That was a nice touch. But inevitably, some units get carried away with a good idea, and want the troops to show up in Blues as well. Uh, if you’re a single soldier, far from home, with a day off and just looking for a good meal, you’re not going to want to go to the hassle of getting a uniform set up and getting dressed. That’s what work days are for.

Casa XBrad will be having a very small meal this year. Only three people, so I’m not doing a whole turkey, just a breast. Some stuffing, a veggie side, and a can of cranberry jelly will be the menu.

I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you have much to give thanks for.

7 thoughts on “DLA Readies Holiday Meals for Afghanistan-deployed Troops”

  1. My father was an Air Farce “paddlefoot” and ran the DFACs we went to for T’giving and Christmas. He often had to be there anyway so he would come get us (we had just one car back then as this was the 60s and very few families had more than one) and off we would go. Once we had to take as long way around when he was stationed at Adair AFB and there was flooding that cut off the normal route. The normal route was only about 14 miles. The long way around was nearly 100.

    I was ribbed while I was in because I didn’t grouse about the chow. I told shipmates I was raised on AF chow and they said that was different. I then yelled at the commissaryman who was in his office off the mess decks and asked him where he attended ‘A’ school and he said “Fort Lee.” I then told them that all service cooks went to Fort Lee (that included the Stewards who handled the Wardrooms too) and that all the recipes were the same no matter what the service. I never detected a difference in the food and I ate in AF, Army and Navy chow halls. Some guys cooked better than others, but that was to be expected.

    I also told them they could call me anything but late for chow. If they called late, I might, just might, get a might annoyed at them, and they would not like the results.

    1. Sorry, QM, but I’ve personally observed boxes carried aboard ship of “BEEF, USDA GRADE D” stamped “BUREAU OF PRISONS REJECTED” and “US AIR FORCE REJECTED” when taking on stores.

      Don’t so much matter where your chef is trained, if all you give him to work with is … well, that.

  2. Hmm. I just finished prepping my blues to go in and serve. Just need to put my spurs on. The Stetson is already in the car. On a different note, we were serving our Troopers’ their Thanksgiving meal in the DFAC we shared with a Marine rifle battalion back in ’08. Their leadership came in, looked at us like we were crazy for standing on the line serving our guys, and they kind of all sheepishly filtered in and took over the line from us after a bit. Not sure what the norm is for USMC, but I know what it was for that Bn. I hope the tradition took hold.

    1. I’ll amend my comments to say that the mid-grade leaders of that Bn jumped in quickly; it was the seniors that were very reluctant to serve.

    2. The Naval service is a bit stickish in the mud. The Navy is having trouble accepting Warrant Officer Pilots at the moment and hoping it fails (no reason for it to, however, unless they simply declare it so). Crazy had a rather colorful response to that attitude, one with which I agree wholeheartedly.

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