Single servicemembers have options for Thanksgiving
Check out lists of Thanksgiving events below.
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Single servicemembers in the Kaiserslautern area have no excuse for resorting to eating TV dinners alone in their barracks room on Thanksgiving.
That is, unless they actually enjoy stomaching mystery meat covered in gray, jellified gravy.
Several options exist for those stationed far from family on the day that’s synonymous with watching football and eating obscene amounts of turkey.
Kaiserslautern’s Better Opportunities for Single Servicemembers organization is matching up families and troops who want to have a home-cooked meal. The group is collecting names of willing host families and soldiers in an effort to make sure no one spends Thanksgiving alone.
Some units can link families and single troops themselves. But there are units that have either a larger proportion of families or a greater number of single troops, and that’s why BOSS is gathering the names of willing hosts and guests, said Spc. Joshua Crawford, Kaiserslautern BOSS president.
"We’ll notify the matchups a few days prior to Thanksgiving," he said. "I think everyone needs to be around family for the holidays."
If you are interested in becoming a host — or you’re a single troop looking for a home-cooked meal — e-mail Crawford at email@example.com.
Those looking for something a bit wilder on Thanksgiving can visit Chuck’s Diner on 24 Steinstrasse in downtown Kaiserslautern. At 6 p.m., bar owner and former airman Lawrence "Chuck" Larsen is offering a free turkey dinner to all U.S. ID cardholders.
"I might even get a ham this year," he said. "Turkeys go faster. We can deep-fry them. We’ll have everything — stuffing, corn, whatever, deviled eggs. It’s American."
In addition to the free dinner and televised football games, the diner will also be preparing care packages that will be donated to U.S. troops serving downrange. Goodies will be sent over for the holidays in an effort dubbed "Project Rudolph."
"It’s for the troops so I want to do it," said Larsen, who donated $500 to Project Rudolph.
For those not wanting to leave base or post, the area’s dining facilities all have special Thanksgiving meals planned. Thanksgiving dinners begin at 11 a.m. at Army posts on Landstuhl and Rhine Ordnance Barracks, and 11:30 a.m. at Army posts on Miesau and Kleber.
At Army dining facilities, Thanksgiving dinner customers pay $6.35 per meal, and family members of pay grade E-4 and below pay $5.40, according to a U.S. Army press release.
At Kaiserslautern-area Air Force dining facilities on Kapaun Air Station and Ramstein Air Base, the Thanksgiving dinners begin at 11 a.m. The dinner is open to all military ranks, Department of Defense civilians, retirees and their families, according to a press release. Prices vary depending on customers’ meal selections.