Turkey, fixings the odor of the day in Misawa dorms
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Thirty dozen deviled eggs, 30 pounds of potatoes, 27 cans of yams, nine turkeys, seven hams, dozens of pies and breads, and plenty of fixings.
Forget Burger King. The place to eat Tuesday was in dormitories 539 and 544, where roasted turkey — and not stinky socks — was the odor of the day.
For about 300 unaccompanied servicemembers assigned to Misawa’s Security Hill, Thanksgiving dinner and the post-turkey food coma arrived two days early.
The hill’s Senior Enlisted Council and Navy chiefs’ group whipped up a huge Thanksgiving spread for the 373rd Intelligence Group’s dorm residents. Single personnel who live downtown and work for the 373rd IG also were invited.
“Without the airmen and the sailors, the job wouldn’t get done,” said Master Sgt. Bruce Scott, Senior Enlisted Council president. “All year long they bust their butts, they do what they have to do. This is our way to just say thanks. That’s why we do it.”
Council members and Navy chiefs took over a kitchen in each of the dorms, cooking from about 12:30 p.m. on. As the 5 o’clock supper-hour neared, deviled eggs were topped, turkeys carved and hot serving platters filled.
“We’ve got green bean casserole coming in, we’ve got yams, we’ve got the jellies — what do you call that? — we’ve got cranberry,” said Scott, running down the evening’s menu. “We’ve got corn bread, banana bread, pies. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner is what it is.”
About $800 from the council’s fundraisers was used to buy most of the food, while the hill’s senior leadership donated the turkeys, Scott said, giving credit to Senior Master Sgt. James Carney and Master Sgt. Patrick Harris for spearheading the annual event. The Single Unaccompanied Dependents and Spouses Organization from each of the intelligence group’s two squadrons baked most of the desserts, and other volunteers also donated dishes.
Airman 1st Class Frederick Kennedy, a 20-year-old computer technician from Washington state, headed the line in Building 539, back for his second Thanksgiving dorm feed. “I rushed over here,” he said, still in uniform. “I’ve been saving it all day. I’m hungry.”
He wasn’t the only returnee. Last year, Mark Gribbin, a 22-year-old senior airman from Philadelphia, said he put away four plates. “I think it’s awesome. It’s good food. They go out of their way to make us food and they don’t have to.”
“Good stuff, good food, good energy, good — how’s that?” chimed in Airman 1st Class David Berger.
Any leftovers were to go to units working Tuesday night, such as security forces and the fire department. In a month, the hill’s Senior Enlisted Council and Navy counterparts will do it all again for the Christmas dorm feed, Smith said. That event is not only for the hill’s unaccompanied personnel on Christmas Eve, but any shift workers on base, including Japanese taxi drivers, working that evening.
“It’s fun for us, it’s a good time,” said Senior Master Sgt. Tina Heggins, a council member, while serving turkey. “We’re the sole folks who do this every single year.”