Troops home from Iraq & other reasons to give thanks on Thanksgiving
But for U.S. families with loved ones serving in harm’s way in Afghanistan and Iraq, the day won’t be so thankful.
In those households, there will be an empty chair, as grandparents, parents, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, grandchildren and other family members wait for their loved ones to return home from the wars.
This will be the 11th Thanksgiving that U.S. troops will have served in Afghanistan and the ninth Thanksgiving Americans have faced combat in Iraq.
Since America invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, 1,841 GIs have been killed in action, according to iCasualties.org. Almost 4,500 U.S. service members have been killed in Iraq since the war began March 19, 2003. (Click HERE for article)
Soldiers return from Iraq in time for Thanksgiving
Grant Rodgers – (Des Moines Register) – November 21, 2011 – Soldiers from the Iowa Army National Guard’s 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, based out of Davenport, will be returning to the state on Wednesday following a tour of duty in Iraq.
The 75 soldiers flew and maintained CH-47D ”Chinook” helicopters while serving in Iraq. The units took part in both assault operations and humanitarian aid efforts, and were also responsible for moving equipment and supplies.
In the past, the soldiers from the units have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. The soldiers are currently in debriefing at Fort Hood, Texas. (Click HERE for article)
US soldiers mark last Thanksgiving in Iraq
W.G. Dunlop – (AFP) – VICTORY BASE COMPLEX, Iraq – November 20, 2011 – US soldiers gathered for an early Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday due to an impending switch to field rations at a base near Baghdad, saying they are glad they will soon be going home.
The official Thanksgiving holiday in the United States is later this week, but the last “dining facility,” or DFAC, at the sprawling Victory Base Complex (VBC) on Baghdad’s outskirts closed on Sunday, as US forces prepare to depart.
Soldiers and contractors, about 6,600 of whom are still at VBC, dined at tables decorated with colourful paper turkeys and “Happy Thanksgiving” signs hanging overhead.
“We’re going to do the Thanksgiving meal here today instead of on Thursday, because we’re closing out,” said 38-year-old Staff Sergeant Christopher Quimbly, the DFAC manager.
“Today on the menu, we have crab legs, turkey, ham, dressing, yams, green beans, rolls, corn bread, mashed potatoes, (and) a variety of deserts,” he said.
“Over 2,000 pounds (almost 900 kilograms) of turkey, over 2,000 pounds of ham” and “probably about 3,000 pounds of mashed potatoes” are being served, he said.
But starting with dinner on Sunday, soldiers will have to make do with bagged field rations, Quimbly said. (Click HERE for article)