News: Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, I Corps celebrates Thanksgiving
Story by Staff Sgt. Teresa Adams
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- Holidays spent away from home can present special challenges for military personnel. Some soldiers may experience feelings of loneliness and longings for family, especially on Thanksgiving. No one knows this better than the creative crew of soldiers assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, I Corps Dining Facility.
Soldiers, their families and Army leadership came together bringing a sense of family and fellowship to Thanksgiving as they enjoyed delicious holiday cuisine, Nov. 24. This year’s festivities featured a Walt Disney themed banquet decorated and prepared by food service specialists from the HHB DFAC.
More than a dozen senior leader volunteers served a mouth-watering spread to the soldiers and their families.
One volunteer played guitar throughout the dinner strumming classical and jazz Christmas music, as well as soft jazz melodies.
“This gives me the opportunity to interact with the Soldiers,” said Robert Comer, 1st Sgt. of the 56th Army Band. “I love the Soldiers and I love the music.”
One senior leader simply enjoyed the privilege of being with his family during the holiday.
“It’s like serving part of my family,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Verbose, I Corps’ commanding sergeant major (rear) (provisional). “Even though we don’t know their names, they are like family we haven’t met.”
On their way to the dining area, guests passed by `Cinderella’s Castle,’ constructed of gingerbread and rice crispys.
Pfc. Rickki Redmon, a food service specialist, created the castle. She was proud of her creation but even more grateful for the leadership’s concern for soldiers.
“They know we are here and they want to be here with us.” said Redmon.
As guests entered the dining room, an ice sculpture inscribed with the words “Walt Disney” greeted them bringing home the banquet’s theme.
Spc. Destiny Jones, a food service specialist, created the sculpture dedicating many hours of his personal time.
“I enjoyed bringing the sculpture to life,” said Jones. “When people see my sculptures, it makes me feel good.”
From the food preparation, to the Walt Disney themed decorations, the soldiers of the HHB DFAC took great pride bringing soldiers and their families a slice of home.
One soldier tearfully expressed that while she missed her family deeply, she was grateful to the leadership for spending the holiday with her.
“It makes me feel like they care,” said Spc. Claudia A. Martinez, a food service specialist assigned to the HHB DFAC. “They took the time away from their families to be here.”
The soldiers worked diligently ensuring those who attended the banquet felt like family as they enjoyed their Thanksgiving Day meal, a fact that did not go unnoticed by their leadership.
“These soldiers really put their hearts into this,” said Staff Sgt. Leslie J. Stoves, the dining facility manager. “This is a home away from home for many soldiers. They look forward to Thanksgiving and putting a smile on people’s faces. They want to make them feel at home.”