News: Team Mildenhall gives thanks
Story by Gina Randall
RAF MILDENHALL, England - Many people have a reason to give thanks this year. Whether it’s a large event, such as a loved one returning safely from a long deployment, or the smaller things in life such as a family meal around the table - everyone has something to be thankful for.
This time of year gives people a chance to think about the year that has passed, the people and events that have taken place and give thanks for them.
There are many events taking place around base to get people involved in the holiday festivities.
The base library runs a variety of special programs throughout the year and they currently have a great deal to offer those celebrating Thanksgiving.
“The library sponsors two events for this holiday — a three-day ‘Make and Take’ turkey stick puppet and a special Thanksgiving-themed story time that includes a craft for preschoolers,” said Sharon Amann, 100th Force Support Squadron librarian and director from San Antonio, Texas. “The ‘Make and Take’ is available in the children’s room from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Nov. 25 to 27, and is for all ages. The story time is at 11 a.m. Nov. 27.”
The library staff works to ensure its visitors receive the information they require and that its younger users have fun while they learn.
“Although we hope that people have fun at all of our events, literacy – and the awareness that there is a place that you can go to get books and other media that will enrich your life without monetary cost – is always the main thrust of library events,” Amann said.
There are many other places hosting Thanksgiving-themed events over the holidays. As Team Mildenhall members enjoy a meal, they can also enjoy the festive events put on by staff at the RAF Mildenhall Gateway Dining Facility.
“We pull out all the stops and provide a taste of home to all Team Mildenhall personnel and their families,” said Tech. Sgt Jeff Bellon, 100th FSS food service accountant from Milwaukie, Ore. “Senior base leadership also pitches in and rolls up their sleeves to help serve the meal.”
For people living off base, they have the chance to cook up a feast in their own kitchen, but for those living in the dormitories, the DFAC staff are there to provide a festive meal.
“Our main target group is junior enlisted living in the dormitories,” Bellon said.
The DFAC staff wants to make sure everyone has a chance to enjoy a meal and company, even if they are stationed thousands of miles from home and their friends and family.
“We want to ensure all personnel enjoy the meal and have a nice slice of home here abroad,” Bellon said. “We plan every detail from ordering the food, to holiday atmosphere presentation, to the ringing up of the end product at the register.”
Another area of the base that is hosting events is the Bob Hope Community Center. The center provides multiuse facilities to meet the needs of the Team Mildenhall community. It offers space for active-duty members, and all eligible members of base communities to access the internet and meet in a relaxing atmosphere.
“We are open on Thanksgiving day from noon to 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the Family Day [Nov. 29, 2013],” said Stephanie Lown, 100th FSS BHCC director.
For service members living off base, it’s a time to spend with their family and friends. But, for those who live on base and are unable to drive, the BHCC takes care of them.
“By being open on Thanksgiving day we give people in lodging or the dormitories the opportunity to have a place to go, where they can meet other people or use the internet,” Lown said.
With all these fun events and more, it’s important to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving and the history behind the feast. In 1621 the pilgrims celebrated the “First Thanksgiving” in Plymouth to celebrate a successful growing season. People today, just as the people in the New World did, use this holiday to feast and enjoy time with their family.
For details of base events, contact the library at DSN 238-2352 or commercial 01638-542352, the Gateway Dining Facility at DSN 238-2689 or commercial 01638-542689, or the Bob Hope Community Center at DSN 238-2579 or commercial 01638-542579.