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Sailors from the USS George Washington won’t have to wait until 2009 to see how Japan celebrates the holiday season.

The nuclear-powered carrier pulled in Nov. 21 for what will be its first extended stay in Japan since making Yokosuka Naval Base its new home in September.

With Thanksgiving nearing, most of the carrier’s sailors already had a good bead on how their first Turkey Day in Japan would play out.

Navy Airmen Ashley Baker and Brandi Holland were acutely aware of their plans even as they checked in to their new barracks Saturday. They said it helped that their arrival date in Japan was of no surprise to the crew.

"[The ship] told us that we’d pull in in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They pretty much promised us that, which was cool," said Holland. "Our buddies are making Thanksgiving dinner for us."

"I’ll be on duty," Baker said.

"We’re bringing her food," Holland quickly said.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Bobby Rogers said though he will miss spending the day with loved ones, he is thankful to be spending the holidays in port.

"This is Japan and it’ll be my first time seeing what their Thanksgiving and Christmas are like," he said. "It’s an opportunity to view the other side of the world and see how they do things."

As far as set plans for Thanksgiving, Rogers said he only has one: "Try not to eat too much."

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Gibson will be spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with his shipmates since his wife and 3-year-old daughter won’t join him until January.

"I’m used to it," he said. "It’s harder on them than it is me."

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