Thanksgiving dinner for deployed troops: The numbers
ARLINGTON, Va. — It’s not written in the Constitution, but all Americans know they have an inalienable right to Thanksgiving turkey — no matter how far from home that day might find them.
That’s why hundreds of thousands of pounds of holiday fare are on their way overseas from the Defense Logistics Agency’s Supply Center in Philadelphia. The DLA is responsible for sending deployed troops food, clothing, medical equipment and other supplies.
For Thanksgiving, U.S. troops around the world will enjoy turkey and all the trimmings, though not necessarily home-cooked. The mashed potatoes, for example, are “canned,” according to the Pentagon’s news release about the holiday program.
There will also be some less-expected goodies, such as shrimp, according to Rich Faso, chief of operations rations in the agency’s subsistence directorate.
More of the same is coming for Christmas, including beef ribs and ham.
Thanksgiving and Christmas meals are en route not only to Iraq and Afghanistan, but also to places like Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Djibouti, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
“Over 75 delivery points will receive and serve Thanksgiving and Christmas meals,” Faso said in the news release.
Here’s what it takes to give deployed servicemembers memorable chow this holiday season:
80,000 pounds boneless turkey7,000 pounds of whole turkey40,000 assorted prebaked pies14,040 cans of cranberry sauce48,500 bags of cornmeal stuffing mix75,000 pounds of ham47,000 pounds of shrimp65,000 pounds of beef ribs3,000 cases of corn on the cob5,200 cans of mashed potatoesThe total cost this year will be about $4.5 million. That includes $2.9 million just for the Thanksgiving meal, Faso was quoted as saying.