The Navy is serving up turkey and sorties on Thanksgiving day
Millions of us are enjoying turkey and football on Thanksgiving Day. While we relax and reflect, 5,200 sailors on the USS Eisenhower are hard at work bombing ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.
While some are dropping precision munitions onto targets on the ground, others are making time during the duty day to roast and carve turkeys. This is the second Thanksgiving Day in a row that many of these sailors have been deployed.
“It’s not going to stop us from having a great Thanksgiving meal,” Capt. Paul C. Spedero, Jr. said. “We’re going to watch football when we can. It’ll probably be a little bit time-delayed but we’re going to do all the things that we can do and what we can expect to do with our families back home,” he said.
Fighter jets launched from the 1000-foot Nimitz-class carrier have dropped more than 1,100 bombs since June. Pilots on the Eisenhower fly for about 6-9 hours as part of their duties.
Back on the ship, culinary specialist and petty officer first class Antonio Brown is organizing a feast consisting of 4,950 pounds of turkey, 1,050 pounds of ham, 1,200 pounds of beef, 648 pounds of shrimp, 7,000 portions of mashed potatoes, 400 pies, and 200 cheese cakes.
Brown is setting up carving stations for sailors and serving his take on standard Navy recipes, like adding marshmallows to the sweet potatoes. Brown said Thanksgiving is the most important day of the year for the carrier’s cooks and kitchen staff.
“It’s like the Super Bowl. We care about Christmas, yes indeed, but Thanksgiving we try to show out,” Brown said. “When everybody is able to sit down and eat a nice, healthy, nutritious meal and everything, it’s like it takes them back.”
Working sailors find time during the day to have some turkey and meet with the ship’s Chaplain in a small group.
It is a tough life but a rewarding one. These heroes are worthy of our thanks.