Hundreds of Fort Hood soldiers and their families are celebrating Thanksgiving early today with a meal and a little competition.
The six different dining facilities on post who participated served a total of 1,000 lbs of turkey, 400 lbs of ham and 4,000 servings of an assortment of sides.
"When you're in the military and do deploy and you're away from your home and your true family, this becomes your family," Col. Henry (Hank) Perry, Garrison Commander of Fort Hood, said.
As most families throughout Central Texas, Fort Hood celebrated with a huge Thanksgiving meal for all soldiers and their loved ones.
"You have to be grateful for what's given to you. I mean, they obviously do not have to serve you any different than any other day, but the fact that they do, you actually appreciate it. I actually looked forward to coming today, and I got a good meal out of it," Spc. Alonso Nieto said.
Six different dining facilities served up a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, casseroles, potatoes and an assortment of cakes and pies.
"Whether it's a cornucopia or an ice sculpture or the various cakes and the plethora of food that our soldiers and our families are eating today, it just shows the skill that all our soldiers have and all that the cooks bring to the soldiers. It's definitely a morale booster," Col. Perry added.
But, the meal served as much more than just a morale boost for those soldiers who will be unable to travel home for the holidays.
"We've been training a lot. I just got back from Sapper school, and we just got out of the field Monday. So, I wasn't able to fill out the paperwork beforehand, so I have to stay here this time," Spc. Nieto added.
Even though Spc. Nieto won't be there with his family, he still sends his love.
"I just want to wish them the best every day, and maybe I'm not there now, but soon I'll be there and visit them. So, parents, I love you, and hopefully one day we get to spend more time together," Spc. Nieto said.
"We're here today celebrating all that we're grateful for with our families and our friends here in the dining facilities at The Great Place here at Fort Hood. I ask that we keep all our deployed soldiers and all our service men and women in our thoughts and prayers as we go into this holiday weekend," Col. Perry said.
The Theodore Roosevelt dining facility won first prize this year in the annual Thanksgiving dining facility competition.
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