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Thanksgiving celebration held for Fort Bragg soldiers who are headed home for the holidays

Posted November 23, 2021 2:53 p.m. EST

— Fort Bragg held a special Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday to celebrate soldiers returning home for the holidays this year.

Last year, many in the unit were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, so for the first time in a long time, they're going to be eating Thanksgiving dinner at home.

The cooks take an awful lot of pride preparing meals all year long.

"Back in the day when I was stationed back at Bragg, they were called mess halls or dining facilities. Now they're call restaurants," said WRAL Fayetteville reporter Gilbert Baez.

Major General Christopher Donahue, the 82nd Airborne Division Commander, said that the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan was a historic accomplishment.

"We just came from a ceremony welcoming them back. This is the first time in many years everybody will be back on Thanksgiving," he said. "For this division, this is a big deal."

During the withdraw, a terrorist bombing killed 13 service members in Kabul. A Marine based out of Camp Lejeune and a soldier based out of Fort Bragg died in the attacks.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were in Fort Bragg on Monday to hold a "Friendsgiving" celebration with military service members and their families.

"I want to thank not only the warriors, I want to thank your family because they stand and wait," Biden said at Fort Bragg. "I know how hard it is to have someone that's not at the table on a holiday, that are in harm's way, find themselves out of the country."

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