News: Blue Ridge sailors celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a Navy family
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Sailors aboard U.S. 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge celebrated Thanksgiving Day on Thursday with families and friends.
More than 300 sailors, family members and friends were welcomed aboard to celebrate the holiday along with Commanding Officer Capt. Daniel Grieco and his family. Everyone was treated to a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal on the ship’s mess decks and wardroom aboard Blue Ridge.
“It was great to spend Thanksgiving Day with Blue Ridge crew and family members, giving thanks for our many blessings. As usual, supply department did a fantastic job creating a great meal with all the trimmings,” Grieco said.
“In today's high-tempo schedules, it is important that we not forget to slow down and remember the things we are grateful for. Today, I wanted the crew to know we are thankful for what they do every day and thankful for their family members whose support and sacrifice play a large role and is key to our mission success everyday,” Grieco added.
While the cooking started the night before, the overall planning began months earlier according to Culinary Specialist 1st Class Frank Medina. A preliminary menu was established shortly after Blue Ridge went into Ship's Restricted Availability in September.
“The entire team of Blue Ridge culinary specialists were involved with the cooking and we had a special night crew that began cooking the turkey,” said Medina. “Menu responsibilities were tasked to each of the ship’s galleys, which provided us the ability to provide an enormous and delicious feast for the crew.”
The menu featured a large array of traditional Thanksgiving dishes including turkey, ham, prime rib, stuffing, gravy and an assortment of pies and ice cream.
For some sailors, getting together on Thanksgiving Day isn’t just about eating lots of food.
“Thanksgiving is a time for recognizing and cherishing the blessings you have with friends and families,” said Machinist’s Mate Fireman Diep Huynh, who is currently working as a food service attendant for the enlisted galley and worked during the Thanksgiving dinner.
“I think we really provided that special time for our Shipmates today,” Huynh said. “It was an amazing turnout.”
As a forward-deployed ship, holidays for most sailors are spent recollecting memories of past holidays with family and friends or over telephone lines, sharing quick greetings from across the miles. Blue Ridge gave those sailors the opportunity to make new memories and share a traditional feast with their Navy family, possibly taking a bit of the family separation ‘sting’ away for those serving abroad.
“We not only had the opportunity to provide the crew with a taste of home today, we also brought them and their families together to serve as a reminder that even when they are far away from home, our Navy family is always here with them,” Chief Warrant Officer Brian Ware, Blue Ridge food service officer said.
Blue Ridge culinary specialists’ hard work and devotion to crew paid off. The long hours of preparation for the Thanksgiving Day meal hit home with the sailors.
“I expected the food to be great as usual, but today even the presentation of the meal was amazing,” Seaman Spencer Nelson said. “The atmosphere during the meal was homey, inviting and had the overall feeling of togetherness. It really ended up being a great day for me.”
Date Posted:11.25.2011 10:37
Location:YOKOSUKA, AICHI, JP
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