Troops home from Iraq & other reasons to give thanks on Thanksgiving
What a difference a year makes.
The unit left for a one-year tour of duty in Iraq shortly after Thanksgiving in 2010, and the last of them returned home Monday, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner this year.
“It’s great to be home for (Thanksgiving),” said Sgt. Greg Giglio. “I’m just grateful for being able to be back with my wife and to spend time with family for Thanksgiving.”
Giglio and about 40 other Guardsmen left Winder on Dec. 2 last year. They met up with crews from other detachments of the 1st, 185th at Fort Hood, Texas, and then traveled to Northern Iraq.
While overseas, they used Black Hawk helicopters to transport equipment and troops and to guard convoys. (Click HERE for article)
U.S. Military Takes Turkey to Troops in Afghanistan
Nick Taborek – (Bloomberg News) – November 23, 2011 – The U.S. military will deliver more Thanksgiving dinners to troops and support staff in Afghanistan than to those in Iraq and Kuwait for the first time since 2003 – – a milestone marked by increased logistical challenges.
Afghanistan’s rugged terrain requires about a quarter of the 160,000 Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing and sweet potato meals served in the country to be airlifted from dining halls to remote troop locations on Thanksgiving Day, said Rich Faso, a Defense Logistics Agency director of supply chain operations.
“There are places that we cannot even get trucks into that we routinely deliver by helicopter and fixed wing aircraft,”Faso said in a Nov. 18 phone interview. “The goal is for every military member in Afghanistan and Iraq and Kuwait to have a traditional turkey dinner.”
There are 270 delivery points for provisions in Afghanistan compared with 25 in Iraq and Kuwait, where 90,000 meals will be served by the military and its contractors, he said. The military feeds support staff and State Department employees in addition to troops.
The meals for the 97,000 troops in Afghanistan will be provided by Supreme Foodservice AG of Ziegelbrucke, Switzerland. Anham LLC, based in Dubai, provides food in Iraq and Kuwait.
The Pentagon awarded $1.34 billion to Supreme through the first 10 months of fiscal 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Anham received contracts valued at $333 million in that period.
U.S. troop levels in Iraq reached 166,300 in 2007. President Barack Obama announced in October that the remaining troops, about 39,000 at the time, would be home for the holidays. (Click HERE for article)
Delivering turkey to troops gets a little trickier
Jason Ukman – (Washington Post) – November 23, 2011 – It can be hard to organize Thanksgiving dinner for tens of thousands of troops overseas. It is surely harder to organize a Thanksgiving dinner when you don’t know how many troops will be left to feed.