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How can we assist military chefs cooking for our troops this holiday season?

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As Thanksgiving and the holidays approach, what can those of us who are at home, do to help inspire, or in some other way assist, military chefs and cooks, as they prepare holiday meals for our troops overseas?

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  1. I am focusing on helping the families of those deployed. Military cooks are pretty well supplied whereas soldiers' families are often under extreme financial stress, especially during the holiday season.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MplsM ary

      I agree that helping military families is extremely important, especially during the holiday season, and am glad to hear that you are helping them.

      Given all the things that our troops need, and do not seem to be provided with while they are stationed overseas, I have to wonder what sort of holiday spirit is really created on the bases...

      1. re: inthekitchen

        Heh, Thanksgiving and X-Mas are the two big holidays at the DFACs (mess hall).

        There's pride/face on the line between the different DFACs, as well as the different Battalion/Squadron/Brigade Commanders over who served their enlisted men the best meal. Some of these meals get pretty crazy/excessive.

        Most of the enlisted Soldiers/Airmen/Marine/Sailors stationed on post have the major food angles covered, although odds and ends from friends and families are always appreciated (tobacco, liquor, beer, deserts/snacks, and the like).

        If you're looking to give a hand, then find a way to help out the Jr. Enlisted and Officers families.

    2. Appreciate the thought, but don't steal their thunder.

      This is the gala event for the Mess Hall. Planning and hording have been going on for months. There will be ice sculptures and butter carvings. Shrimp will be on the menu for the only time all year. And officers will be manning the serving line. My colonel used a World War 1 bayonet on the steamship round.

      If you are within an hour or so of a military installation, you might want to volunteer a place or two at your table. Contact the Chaplain or Public Affairs Office to be put on the list. Be advised that you will be responsible for picking them up and bringing them back.

      1 Reply
      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

        Agree. When my son was deployed, they had a tremendous amount of food for holidays. Turkey, steamship rounds of beef, all the usual side dishes, multiple desserts, etc... When stateside, the officers served the meal in the dining halls. Often tiimes, the families of the deployed were finding it difficult to make ends meet. They greatly appreciate a friendly invitation or a donation of meal components.

      2. We are going to NY to have Christmas with our son who is in the Navy there (and doesn't get leave then).
        I'll make him a nice Christmas dinner at his apartment , and y'all have just given me the idea to tell him to invite a few of his fellow sailors who won't have family around, to come have dinner with us.

        1. Thank you for all of your responses. I hope that you will all be able to contribute, in some way, to our troops and/or their families celebrations, during the upcoming holiday season.