Thanksgiving 2011: Troops in Afghanistan chow down

U.S. troops celebrate Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

U.S. Army cooks at the Panjwai district center in Afghanistan cook up a Thanksgiving feast for the troops.

By MARTIN KUZ | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 24, 2011

GOSHTA, Afghanistan — Forget the Macy’s parade in New York City. On Thursday morning, soldiers at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province may have held Afghanistan’s first-ever Thanksgiving Day parade.

It was, admittedly, a modest affair: a total of four hand-built floats, including a Sherman tank commanded by a Cartman doll. But for troops with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, the event brought a dash of holiday cheer to a war zone.

“It’s just a little something to make you think of home,” said Pfc. Cuyler Slocum, 23, of Warsaw, N.Y., who had suggested the idea of a parade to the company’s command staff a couple of weeks ago.

At bases across Afghanistan, Thanksgiving dinner was served buffet-style, the same as every other meal. At COP Garcia, located five miles from Pakistan, soldiers sat at tables as waiters — i.e., other soldiers — brought out roast turkey and smoked ham, along with an array of side dishes.

“I’ve deployed four times, and this is by far the best holiday celebration I’ve ever seen,” said Sgt. Richard Guyness, 31, of Newman, Calif. “This is more like family — because we are family.”

Twitter: @martinkuz

Sgt. Chad Wood, left, forks over a freshly baked roast turkey to First Sgt. Joshua Shaughnessy during Thanksgiving dinner at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment celebrated the holiday at the base.


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