Lejeune Marines, sailors get chance to enjoy traditional Thanksgiving meal

16 Nov 2006 | Lance Cpl. David A. Weikle

Thanksgiving is thought of as a time for family and friends with a traditional meal of turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.  Spending the holidays with families isn’t always possible for Marines with 2nd Marine Division.

To give the service members a taste of home, the dining facilities here is offering a traditional Thanksgiving meal to those unable tobe with family.

“Every Marine will receive a traditional Thanksgiving dinner,” explained Reuben Whitehurst, a cook who has worked in food services for over 30 years. “Being a retired Marine, I enjoy getting the chance to feed Marines.”

The story of Thanksgiving is one familiar to many Americans dating back to the 17th century and the Pilgrims.  They planned a festival to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and invited the Native Americans, who helped them survive the harsh winter from the preceding year.

Over the centuries, the American communities continued to give thanks for the successes in their lives.

“I thank God for everything I have,” explained Pfc. Earl Nixon, a Goldsboro, N.C., native.  “I think of how truly blessed I am to be alive and have a job. It’s a time to visit family and thank God.”

These feelings are common to many Americans, and especially to those who’ve taken the oath to protect and defend their nation.

“It gives me the chance to think about everything I’m thankful for,” Nixon continued. “It lets me reflect on some of the things I take for granted.”

The food service workers will begin serving the feast at 4:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, although the process of preparing the meal will begin the day prior.

“We’ll prepare certain items, like the deviled eggs and deserts, the day before,” explained Collette Carter, a food service manager for Mess Hall 9. “The amount of preparation required depends on the item.”

Marines and sailors spending Thanksgiving here will have a large spread of food to choose from for their meal.

“We’ll have all the traditional foods, cranberry sauce, ham, turkey, giblets gravy and all the fixings for a outstanding meal,” Whitehurst explained.  “Feeding Marines is what I do.”