Young soldiers led in a short prayer by the chaplain before their first Thanksgiving away from home.
It’s the first time many will experience an un-expected Army tradition: the tradition of officers and non-commissioned officers serving the troops their Thanksgiving Dinner.
“I think it’s pretty good, it’s showing that they actually care about the soldiers and what we do,” Pvt. Lakrystal Robertson said.
“I think it was nice, it was very nice, they serving us instead of us serving them, it’s nice. It makes me feel better about life,” Pvt Clintesha Briner said.
And for those doing the serving, who witnessed the re-action, it was great to see the response.
“It’s a magical moment to see their eyes light up,” Lt. Col. Chris Robertson, 20 years in US Army, said.
And it brings back memories for the officers who remember their first Thanksgiving away from home.
“It was tough being away, and I did have a lot to be thankful for, but it was, I missed home the first time being away,” John O’Neal, Quartermaster General, said.
“I probably felt like those guys here, they’re missing home and so we just want to make it special for these soldiers here,” Sgt. 1st Class James Vardy, 15 years in US Army, said.
The food soldiers said it is some of the best food they get and today it is plentiful.
While the young soldiers here at Fort Lee may have been surprised to walk into the dining facility and see who was serving them, these soldiers at this table, got quite a unique surprise, when a Brigadier General sat down beside them.
“It was kinda like a shocking moment,” Pvt Yaritza Arteaga said.
Brigadier General John O’Neal, the 52nd Quartermaster General for the U.S. Army, decided to spend some quality time talking with the troops.
“So what do you think of this Thanksgiving spread that they laid out for you here?” Gen O’Neal, asked.
“It’s as much about thanking the troopers for volunteering, to serve in their United States Army, at a time of great consequence, when our nation needs you most, and that’s what makes me so proud, to be associated with you and serving along side you,” he said to troops.