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Brig. Gen. and Regional Command-South Deputy Commanding General Jeffery Sinclair speaks to soldiers with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division while visiting Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province Afghanistan on Nov. 24, 2011, Thanksgiving Day.
Brig. Gen. and Regional Command-South Deputy Commanding General Jeffery Sinclair speaks to soldiers with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division while visiting Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province Afghanistan on Nov. 24, 2011, Thanksgiving Day. (Laura Rauch/Stars and Stripes)
Brig. Gen. and Regional Command-South Deputy Commanding General Jeffery Sinclair speaks to soldiers with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division while visiting Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province Afghanistan on Nov. 24, 2011, Thanksgiving Day.
Brig. Gen. and Regional Command-South Deputy Commanding General Jeffery Sinclair speaks to soldiers with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division while visiting Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province Afghanistan on Nov. 24, 2011, Thanksgiving Day. (Laura Rauch/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Jeremiah Giles passes around 1st Lt. Jackson McGehee during a Thanksgiving Day game of Ultimate Frisbee known as the "Turkey Bowl" at Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province, Afghanistan. The soldiers are with 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
Sgt. Jeremiah Giles passes around 1st Lt. Jackson McGehee during a Thanksgiving Day game of Ultimate Frisbee known as the "Turkey Bowl" at Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province, Afghanistan. The soldiers are with 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. (Laura Rauch/Stars and Stripes)
First Lt. Jackson McGehee, left, defends against Spc. Antonio Hutchins during a  Thanksgiving Day game of Ultimate Frisbee known as the "Turkey Bowl" at Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province, Afghanistan. The soldiers are with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
First Lt. Jackson McGehee, left, defends against Spc. Antonio Hutchins during a Thanksgiving Day game of Ultimate Frisbee known as the "Turkey Bowl" at Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province, Afghanistan. The soldiers are with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Laura Rauch/Stars and Stripes)
First Lt. Weston Walrond, left, and 1st Lt. Johanna Mosby cheer their teammates during a Thanksgiving Day game of Ultimate Frisbee known as the "Turkey Bowl" at Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province, Afghanistan. Both soldiers are with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne.
First Lt. Weston Walrond, left, and 1st Lt. Johanna Mosby cheer their teammates during a Thanksgiving Day game of Ultimate Frisbee known as the "Turkey Bowl" at Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province, Afghanistan. Both soldiers are with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne. (Laura Rauch/Stars and Stripes)
Spc. Michael Finnigan, 29, a cook from Pomona, Calif., slices prime rib for Thanksgiving dinner at the Panjwai district center in southern Kandahar province.
Spc. Michael Finnigan, 29, a cook from Pomona, Calif., slices prime rib for Thanksgiving dinner at the Panjwai district center in southern Kandahar province. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Geneva Miller, of Beaufort, S.C., Gulava, an Afghan worker at the Panjwai district center, and Sgt. Edward Wortham, of Fort Pierce, Fla., make preparations for Thanksgiving dinner at the Panjwai district center in southern Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
Sgt. Geneva Miller, of Beaufort, S.C., Gulava, an Afghan worker at the Panjwai district center, and Sgt. Edward Wortham, of Fort Pierce, Fla., make preparations for Thanksgiving dinner at the Panjwai district center in southern Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Spc. Michael Finnigan, 29, a cook from Pomona, Calif., makes sure the Turkey doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan while making Thanksgiving dinner at the Panjwai district center in southern Kandahar province.
Spc. Michael Finnigan, 29, a cook from Pomona, Calif., makes sure the Turkey doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan while making Thanksgiving dinner at the Panjwai district center in southern Kandahar province. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Noor Ali, an Afghan worker at the Panjwai district center, and Sgt. Geneva Miller, a U.S. Army cook, prepare onions for Thanksgiving dinner.
Noor Ali, an Afghan worker at the Panjwai district center, and Sgt. Geneva Miller, a U.S. Army cook, prepare onions for Thanksgiving dinner. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Noor Ali couldn't stop crying while chopping onions.
Noor Ali couldn't stop crying while chopping onions. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
An Afghan worker tests the turkey.
An Afghan worker tests the turkey. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Ajmalekan, an Afghan worker at the Panjwai district center, scoops out rice for Thanksgiving dinner.
Ajmalekan, an Afghan worker at the Panjwai district center, scoops out rice for Thanksgiving dinner. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Because there's no oven at the Panjwai district center, soldiers warmed pre-made pies on a grill.
Because there's no oven at the Panjwai district center, soldiers warmed pre-made pies on a grill. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Afghans were invited to share the Thanksgiving meal with U.S. troops who work at the Panjwai district center, the seat of government for Afghanistan's Panjwai district.

Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes
Afghans were invited to share the Thanksgiving meal with U.S. troops who work at the Panjwai district center, the seat of government for Afghanistan's Panjwai district. Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Edward Wortham, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the dining facility at the Panjwai district center in southern Kandahar, watches as Afghans and U.S. troops line up for Thanksgiving grub.
Sgt. Edward Wortham, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the dining facility at the Panjwai district center in southern Kandahar, watches as Afghans and U.S. troops line up for Thanksgiving grub. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
After a day slaving over the preparations, Army cooks Sgt. Edward Wortham and Spc. Michael Finnigan both skipped the Thanksgiving meal.
After a day slaving over the preparations, Army cooks Sgt. Edward Wortham and Spc. Michael Finnigan both skipped the Thanksgiving meal. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Brig. Gen. James Richardson, deputy commanding general with the U.S. Army's regional command in eastern Afghanistan, talked to soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment during a Thanksgiving Day visit to Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province.
Brig. Gen. James Richardson, deputy commanding general with the U.S. Army's regional command in eastern Afghanistan, talked to soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment during a Thanksgiving Day visit to Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)
Gen. Eric Cartman took a break from his ''South Park'' duties to command a Sherman tank at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province on Thanksgiving Day. Soldiers with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment built the float for a holiday parade.
Gen. Eric Cartman took a break from his ''South Park'' duties to command a Sherman tank at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province on Thanksgiving Day. Soldiers with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment built the float for a holiday parade. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment celebrated Thanksgiving Day at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. The menu included smoked ham, roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and loads of pie.
Soldiers with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment celebrated Thanksgiving Day at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. The menu included smoked ham, roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and loads of pie. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)
Staff Sgt. Ian Leffler, right, carves a smoked ham while Sgt. Ryan Brown, middle, and Pfc. Jason Mudd load up on cornbread dressing during Thanksgiving dinner at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. The base is home to Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment.
Staff Sgt. Ian Leffler, right, carves a smoked ham while Sgt. Ryan Brown, middle, and Pfc. Jason Mudd load up on cornbread dressing during Thanksgiving dinner at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. The base is home to Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)
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.
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. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment pray before Thanksgiving dinner at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province.
Soldiers with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment pray before Thanksgiving dinner at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)
Cpl. Juan Montes with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment prays before Thanksgiving dinner at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province.
Cpl. Juan Montes with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment prays before Thanksgiving dinner at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment celebrated Thanksgiving Day at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. The menu included smoked ham, roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and loads of pie.
Soldiers with Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment celebrated Thanksgiving Day at Combat Outpost Garcia in Nangarhar province. The menu included smoked ham, roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and loads of pie. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)

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.”

kuzm@estripes.osd.milTwitter: @martinkuz

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