“The Defense Logistics Agency shipped about 144,000 pounds of whole turkeys into theater so Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines there can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner while deployed…
“Although thousands of miles from wherever they may call home, America’s servicemembers won’t need to miss the tastes and smells of a hearty Thanksgiving, thanks to efforts by the DLA…
“Not all Soldiers will be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in a dining facility, but Army Central Command and tactical units arrange to provide a Thanksgiving meal to all Soldiers, including those in outposts that can’t prepare a meal for themselves, said McNulty.
“In remote locations, for instance, hot meals can be specially delivered in insulated food containers. Additionally, special supplements are ordered such as nuts, candies, and assorted fresh fruits. Specially developed self-heating meals that include the turkey and all the trimmings can also be sent to extremely remote units.”
“‘If he’s able to call, he’ll call,’ she said with the hard-earned patience of a seasoned Army wife.
“The Scarpulla family is among the thousands of military families who will have an empty seat at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Many have grown accustomed to frequent holiday separations after multiple deployments and nearly a decade of war, but that repetition doesn’t make it easier over time, just more routine, Scarpulla noted…
“But it’s less routine for her children, Scarpulla said. Her children are older now and are better able to grasp the concept of deployment and separation. The other day, she recalled, her 8-year-old daughter sat down in her lap and ‘cried and cried and cried.’
“‘I let her know it’s OK to cry. Sometimes you’ve just got to let it out,’ she said.”