News: Marne Thanksgiving feast, DFAC competition
Story by Sgt. Uriah Walker
Feeding the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division day in and day out is no small feat. Add family Members, decorations, and a dash of competition and you get one of the largest culinary accomplishments of the year.
With nearly the entire division home this year, the line for the largest meal of the season stretched far beyond the entrances at each DFAC. There was a steady flow of soldiers and their families from the time the doors opened at noon until 2 p.m.
Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, 3rd Inf. Div. commanding general, made a stop at each of the DFACs to meet with the soldiers and personally thank them for their hard work. Several soldiers were individually recognized and given a division coin by Abrams in appreciation of their efforts towards making this day a success.
“Most of these dining facilities started their preparation five days ago,” Abrams said. “Then it all culminates last night, they pull an all-nighter to take a plain Jane dining facility and create a masterpiece by twelve o’clock the next day.”
Of the many centerpieces at each of the four dining facilities for the Thanksgiving lunch, Nov. 23, one was common to all. Whether functional or purely for aesthetics, ice sculptures could be found in each DFAC.
Spc. Christian Bialaszewski, Division Headquarters Headquarters Battalion food service specialist, had a hand in the creation of each of the eight ice sculptures on display at the Legion DFAC. The team of soldiers responsible for the frozen art labored for nearly 40 hours over three days to complete the task.
“My prize ice sculpture is the Mickey Mouse,” Bialaszewski said. “It’s an experience that everybody should try, dealing with the cold and getting to cut up some ice with chainsaws.”
After all of the hard work, long hours and meticulous attention to detail a winner had to be crowned. The award ceremony was held at the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team “Vanguard” DFAC.
The winning DFAC was none other than 4IBCT. Their theme of the landing of the Mayflower was executed to include their salad bar being decorated as a ship complete with sails and a rope tying it off to a rock on the beach.
Abrams awarded Sgt. 1st Class Maurice M. Owens Sr., Vanguard DFAC manager, the trophy for the best DFAC on Fort Stewart. Owens was not the only soldier recognized at 4IBCT, another baker’s dozen Vanguard soldiers were individually recognized by Abrams as well.