Local News

Soldiers celebrate Thanksgiving at Fort Bragg

Posted November 25, 2009 5:16 p.m. EST
Updated November 26, 2009 9:00 a.m. EST

— Army 1st Lt. Joe Cho was stationed at Guantanamo Bay last Thanksgiving. Cho said he had a sandwich from Burger King and a soda before heading back to work.

Spc. Mike Smith said his Thanksgiving meal last year while he was stationed in Iraq was baked chicken and powdered mashed potatoes.

This year, soldiers like Cho and Smith enjoyed a special meal with their Army family at Fort Bragg.

“It’s the first time an Army meal has ever filled me up and I couldn’t finish my plate,” Smith said Wednesday.

Soldiers gathered at more than 10 dining halls at the post and Camp Mackall to enjoy meals on Tuesday and Wednesday. Soldiers ate for free, and their families members paid a small fee.

At the Smoke Bomb Hill Dining Facility at Fort Bragg, soldiers dined on 1,200 pounds of turkey, more than 400 pounds of ham, 239 pounds of crab legs, 260 pounds of roast beef and 60 pounds of fish.

Spc. Jeremy Nissly, 32, has only been in the Army for seven months. He said he expected to be having one of the Meals-Ready-To-Eat or MREs while deployed in a combat zone this year. Instead, he is waiting for his assignment.

"Actually, we were told in basic training that within 90 days of getting out of training, you’d be overseas. So it’s a little gift (the dinner at Fort Bragg) because we already planned for me to be deployed," Nissly said.