November 22, 2018
SPECIAL THANKSGIVING EDITION
Editor’s Note: Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, giving us an opportunity to reflect upon our collective good fortune as Americans. It is also an invitation for personal reflection, embracing the increasingly rare concept of gratitude. Our appalling culture of complaint, group identity grievances, and juvenile entitlement mentality makes it all the more imperative that all who read this note give thanks for what they have, which is likely more than 99% of the rest of the world.
In other words, buck up snowflake. It’s not that bad. Actually, it’s all pretty damn good.
Today’s special edition is dedicated to the men and women who deployed around the world in the Armed Forces, protecting our freedoms.
Below are Thanksgiving stories as told by these men and women, culled from a variety of public sources.
“I spent two Thanksgivings in Fallujah and they weren’t bad at all. You had your brothers to the left and right which might as well be family. And the leadership did everything they could to give us a proper Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings. I’m grateful.”
“The Navy cooks made sure Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were extra special back in the 60s, and we did have our buddies that were just as homesick to share that, too! I SURVIVED!”
“I spent many Thanksgivings away from home, either state side or overseas. Sure, it wasn’t like home, but you make the best of the situation and enjoy it with others in the same situation as you are. I always enjoyed spending them with my military family!”
“It sucks, horrible food, you miss your family, and although you’re proud to be there, the conditions you’re under usually suck too. Overseas a holiday is just like any other day.”
“I spent two in Iraq. The guys next to me are more family than my family. The chain of command did everything to give us a great meal. It was probably some of the best Holiday memories I have. Good times.”
“1952 in Korea. After getting off the truck, It was a cold snowy trek to the corrugated hut where they served it. One piece of turkey, one large spoon of lumpy mashed potatoes, one spoon of thick gravy with gizzard bits and one of corn. One slice of bread. It was lukewarm, but it was good. And hot coffee. And I was thankful for it. As I ate it, my memories of home at my mother’s table gave me a greater appreciation for everything we had at home and what the poor South Koreans did not. But they have it now. That year molded my character.”
“I remember Thanksgiving Day, 1971. Our unit, 1/327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, was waiting on the helipad in Da Nang for Chinook helicopters to take our unit back to Camp Eagle, about 60 miles north. One Sergeant was lying on the ground. He was shivering and the whites of his eyes were yellow. I told someone in his squad they had better get a medic. The guy was really sick. Then then rain came. Severe downpour for about an hour. I sat on my rucksack with my feet off the flooded ground. The rain stopped and the sun came out. Someone came around and said the guy had hepatitis. There was only enough hepatitis vaccine to do the guys that slept in the same bunker with the guy. They had talked about hepatitis shots for the whole unit. The first Chinook finally took off filled with soldiers. Ten minutes later, I heard on the radio. ‘Lost contact, lost contact.’ The helicopter had been shot down with 23 on board. About an hour later, I was riding on another Chinook helicopter back to Camp Eagle near Hue, Vietnam. Just stare out the window and tell yourself, ‘No, a bullet is not going to rip through the floor.’ That is what I did on Thanksgiving Day, 1971.”
“Korea 1967; Vietnam 1969. All I remember is that the mess halls both times tried their best to give us the nicest, old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings that they could. Wasn’t the same as my Mom but I was still thankful … and wishing I was back home.”
“Ya buddy! Nothing like birthdays, Thanksgiving and other holidays with a nice c-rat meal (yum yum) beef and rocks. All ya old timers know what I mean. Enjoy them dinners boys. I hear MREs are a lot worse than c-rats ever were. SEMPER FI. People should know its not home cooking for ya guys every day.”
“Spent several holidays overseas. In 1966, my mother sent me a plastic Christmas free that was hung in our DiAn Vietnam barracks. Returned home 46 years ago next Sunday in time for Thanksgiving Day,1968.”
OIF 2004 - on a small team north of Mosul living among the Kurds, spending a lot of time in villages tucked away in the mountains. Leading up to Thursday, it's not likely that we're going to convoy w our Pesh down to Mosul for a turkey meal, so we just figure we're missing out this year. Family had sent packs of stuffing mix and canned cranberries, but it would be useless replacing turkey with goat. Then we notice two actual turkeys in one of the villages (near Turkish border..ha!), and remark to our terp "oh wow, we didn't realize there were turkeys in Iraq?" This leads to an explanation about Thanksgiving. Within minutes one of our Pesh bodyguards walks over, shoots both turkeys, and loads them in a truck.
On Thanksgiving day we throw a huge feast at our safe house, feed all the Pesh guards, give scraps to the local kids who think cranberries are weird. We taught them how to play American football in the gravel that day.
Late that afternoon, while siting around I'm a food coma, the radios come alive with word that a general is flying into our AO to deliver a turkey meal. We live in a city block and don't have an HLZ for anything bigger than a Littlebird. So we load up and roll over to meet the,at a big Pesh compound across town. We load him, his detail, and a shit ton of mermites into vehicles and take him back to our neighborhood. He's kind of amazed we aren't all that jazzed about the visit until he sees the wreckage of our turkey meal, complete with bags full of turkey feathers and innards. "Looks like you boys had a real thanksgiving."
For Thanksgiving 2003 I was on deployment in Kuwait at Camp Udairi as part of the second wave (May '03) of deployments after the invasion of Iraq.
As a thank you to America, there was a family in Kuwait City that had started a tradition of inviting US Troops over to their house for thanksgiving. There was a sign-up roster going around and I managed to get on it (they could only take about 60 or so). We almost didn't make it because some dumbasses lost a 50 cal in another unit and the base was going into lockdown but one of my unit's pilots made a successful roll to intimidate the privates at the gate so we got out.
So we get there and this place is huge. Oil money, apparently. The house takes up a block and it's 4 stories high, and the couple just lets us wander around in it. Everything inside is marble or gold. It's got 3 kitchens (2 fully staffed and one for the wife), multiple elevators, the first plasma screen TV I'd ever seen, a massive garage that looks like something from Grand Theft Auto (a BMW, a Porsche, a Ferrari, etc). Out back in the yard there's two giant circus type tents set up with every food you could ask for, including shrimp the size of bananas, and servant dudes fresh squeezing 30 types of fruits to make fresh juice for us.
My birthday is just before thanksgiving and I had just turned 21 but Kuwait is a nominally dry country so some dudes in the unit gave me shitty non-alcoholic beer which I remember I poured the majority down a sink in a unused bedroom of the house.
Korea 1982 - Thanksgiving Day did company change of command at 0600 the went on 12 mile road march - should have been back in time to eat lunch at the messhall but some smartass officers decided to give new company cdr a bad map so instead of 6 out and 6 back on the hardball we went about 3 miles then took a left turn up a mountain trail - new cdr wasn’t listening to no one who was telling him we were going the wrong direction so we went up over and down the mountain at arrive at the normal 6 mile turn around point at noon - the the new cdr sent the 2 1/2 ton back to bring us chow - we got lukewarm spaghetti after freezing on the side of the road for an hour for our thanksgiving dinner - got back to the company area about 1600 - was hoping for leftover turkey for supper- only got cheeseburgers- 5 months later cdr got relieved as this was only day one of how screwed he was.
Welcome to my web site!
I created this website in response to governmental waste and abuse in Anoka County.
Many taxpayers don’t know that our local governments spend millions of tax dollars every year on things like public relations teams, lobbyists, and junkets to places like Hawaii.
Since there seemed to be no place to turn for the “other side” of these issues, I created the Anoka County Watchdog. My intent is to create a one-stop-shop where concerned taxpayers can find fact-supported information and other resources to counter the governmental machine. Many people want to confront their elected officials regarding waste and abuse but feel they don’t have the information they need to make an effective argument. This web site offers that information.
Some of our elected officials in Anoka County have become arrogant and unresponsive, forgetting that they work for the very people who put them in office. It’s high time to hold them accountable for their decisions.
Harold E. Hamilton
US Mail: Anoka County Watchdog
7956 Main Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55432
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