Theodore's World: Strikers Prepare for Thanksgiving in Northeastern Baghdad

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November 27, 2008

Strikers Prepare for Thanksgiving in Northeastern Baghdad

Pfc. Katty Marie Le Blanc, a native of Boston, and Spc. Reuben Jones, a native of Gainesville, Fla., both of whom serve as cooks with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, display eight of the turkeys that will be used for the brigade's Thanksgiving dinner throughout the Adhamiyah and Sadr City Districts of Baghdad.

Strikers Prepare for Thanksgiving in Northeastern Baghdad

By Scott Flenner
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division


Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, will enjoy a feast of fresh turkey with all the fixings this Thanksgiving holiday.

Three months ago, food service technicians and officers began planning for this celebration to ensure that every Soldier operating in their area was provided with a traditional Thanksgiving meal Nov. 27 – they have succeeded.

Warrant Officer Darryl Goddard, a food service officer with 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div., who has been planning the Thanksgiving dinner at Forward Operating Base War Eagle, is ready for the challenge of feeding the more than 300 Soldiers there.

“I am ensuring that Soldiers at FOB War Eagle and 4th Inf. Div. are supported with a little taste of home … and I am working diligently to ensure they get the necessary feeling of home here in Iraq while in Iraq,” said the Norfolk, Va., native.

That taste of home includes more than 800 pounds of fresh turkey, which will be prepared and fixed at the larger dining facilities and then pushed out to the smaller combat outposts and joint security stations.

“Every Soldier will get a good Thanksgiving dinner based upon patrol schedule,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey, a Palmerton, Pa., native, who serves as the senior enlisted leader for the 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “It will be a continuous operation throughout the day.”

But turkey is not the only traditional food being served to the troops this holiday season. Sweet potato pie, apple cobbler and Baskin Robin’s ice cream are just a few other treats to accompany the feast.

“I feel that it is important from a biblical standpoint and a moral standpoint for Soldiers on the battlefield be able to be comfortable and enjoy the Thanksgiving tradition that has been going on for centuries,” said Goddard.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates expressed his gratitude to the nation's service members and their families in his annual Thanksgiving Day message.

Here is the text of the secretary's message:

"In this season of hope, I want to say how uplifting it has been to get to know so many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines during the last 24 months.
"Many of you are far from home, and I'm sure there's no place you would rather be than with your loved ones. But know that they, and all Americans, are free and secure because of what the men and women of the U.S. military are doing all over the world – from Fort Lewis to Fort Drum, from Korea to Kosovo, from Bagram to Baghdad.
"The holidays are a time to reflect on the kind of nation we are: a nation whose character and decency are embodied in our armed forces. Those who risk life and limb every time they set foot "outside the wire." The medical personnel, engineers, and civil affairs teams who improve the lives of thousands. And all are volunteers.
"To the families of our forces: thank you for sharing your loved ones to defend us all. To our troops: we admire your selflessness and pray for your success and safe return home. And to all: happy holidays."

Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense

Posted by Wild Thing at November 27, 2008 03:50 AM


I heard from my nephew Boog finally! He's doing well--enjoying fixing motors and engines.
I sure wish he and his brother Jeffy were home for Thanksgiving, but I know they are doing what needs to be done for all of us, so I am so Thankful for another safe holiday to spend with my husband and daughters. God has shown his blessings to us through soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and coasties. They do what must be done without delay. God bless our military!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Lynn at November 27, 2008 06:13 AM

Love the smiles on their faces.

Lynn, please thank your nephews and send them a big Army Mom hug from me!

Posted by: yankeemom at November 27, 2008 09:11 AM

The Army always did it's best to see to it that all soldiers got a warm meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had some memorable Thanksgiving meals in the Army with great buddies.

Posted by: TomR at November 27, 2008 10:26 AM

...yeah and sometimes we even got Ham and Lima's, aka Ham and Mother-.

Posted by: Mark at November 27, 2008 07:10 PM

Lynn, I am so glad you heard from your nephew Boog. That is the best news.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 27, 2008 11:53 PM

Yankeemom, yes their smiles make my heart smile.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 27, 2008 11:54 PM

Tom, big smile, I am so glad!!!

" I had some memorable Thanksgiving meals in the Army with great buddies."

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 27, 2008 11:56 PM

Mark, that is yummy too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 27, 2008 11:57 PM