Turkey for the Troops

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Deployed soldiers don't have the luxury of gathering with family and loved ones for Thanksgiving, but the military goes to some pretty great lengths to get the troops a holiday meal with all the trimmings -- a taste of home, even if its not home-cooked. This year, soldiers at more than 200 locations in Afghanistan will dine on more than 60,000 pounds of beef, 20,000 pounds of ham, 45,000 pounds of turkey, 28,000 sweet potatoes, and 4,800 pies, according to the Defense Logistics Agency. And that's just Afghanistan. Troops will be celebrating Thanksgiving around the world -- from Japan to Germany to bases here in the United States. Here's a look back at 60 years of soldiers abroad taking a break for the holiday.

Above, U.S. Army soldiers eat their Thanksgiving meal at Combat Outpost Cherkatah, Khowst province, Afghanistan, on Nov. 26, 2009.

http://In%20addition%20to%20the%20turkey%20dinner,%20some%20soldiers%20can%20take%20%20part%20in%20other%20festivities,%20including%20watching%20an%20NFL%20game%20or%20playing%20some%20%20football%20on%20their%20own.%20Here,%20Specialist%20Alexander%20Raborn,%20"Mr.%20%20Turkey,"%20gets%20a%2030%20second%20head%20start%20in%20the%20annual%20Kabul%20Satellite%20Turkey%20%20Chase%2010K%20on%20Nov.%2027,%202011.%20Raborn%20said%20he%20was%20picked%20to%20be%20the%20turkey%20%20because%20he%20"is%20the%20fastest%20person"%20in%20his%20office.%20The%20race,%20held%20at%20%20the%20Kabul%20International%20Airport,%20was%20attended%20by%20106%20coalition%20service%20members%20%20and%20civilians%20from%20various%20NATO%20countries%20including%20Belgium,%20France,%20Romania%20%20and%20the%20United%20Kingdom.

In addition to the turkey dinner, some soldiers can take part in other festivities, including watching an NFL game or playing some football on their own. Here, Specialist Alexander Raborn, "Mr. Turkey," gets a 30 second head start in the annual Kabul Satellite Turkey Chase 10K on Nov. 27, 2011. Raborn said he was picked to be the turkey because he "is the fastest person" in his office. The race, held at the Kabul International Airport, was attended by 106 coalition service members and civilians from various NATO countries including Belgium, France, Romania and the United Kingdom.

http://The%20military's%20Defense%20Logistics%20Agency%20begins%20preparations%20%20for%20the%20Thanksgiving%20meal%20six%20months%20in%20advance.%20Planning%20is%20important%20when%20%20soldiers%20will%20be%20inaccessible%20on%20the%20holiday%20itself.%20Here,%20turkey%20is%20served%20in%20%20flight%20aboard%20an%20Air%20Force%20KC-10%20Extender%20aircraft%20during%20a%20long%20refueling%20%20mission%20on%20Nov.%2025,%202010.

The military's Defense Logistics Agency begins preparations for the Thanksgiving meal six months in advance. Planning is important when soldiers will be inaccessible on the holiday itself. Here, turkey is served in flight aboard an Air Force KC-10 Extender aircraft during a long refueling mission on Nov. 25, 2010.

http://Above,%20Specialist%20John%20Dever%20eats%20Thanksgiving%20dinner%20while%20%20standing%20watch%20in%20a%20guard%20tower%20on%20Nov.%2026,%202009%20in%20Matakhan,%20Afghanistan.

Above, Specialist John Dever eats Thanksgiving dinner while standing watch in a guard tower on Nov. 26, 2009 in Matakhan, Afghanistan.

http://Soldiers%20from%201-506%20Infantry%20Division%20serve%20a%20Thanksgiving%20%20meal%20to%20their%20fellow%20soldiers%20at%20their%20forward%20operating%20base%20in%20Paktika%20%20province%20along%20the%20Afghan-Pakistan%20border%20on%20Nov.%2027,%202008.

Soldiers from 1-506 Infantry Division serve a Thanksgiving meal to their fellow soldiers at their forward operating base in Paktika province along the Afghan-Pakistan border on Nov. 27, 2008.

http://Sailors%20at%20sea%20aboard%20the%20amphibious%20command%20ship%20USS%20Blue%20Ridge,%20afloat%20outside%20of%20Yokosuka,%20%20Japan,%20crowd%20onto%20the%20ship's%20mess%20decks%20on%20Nov.%2022,%202007.

Sailors at sea aboard the amphibious command ship USS Blue Ridge, afloat outside of Yokosuka, Japan, crowd onto the ship's mess decks on Nov. 22, 2007.

http://Soldiers%20wait%20to%20have%20lunch%20during%20Thanksgiving%20Day%20%20celebrations%20at%20the%20U.S.%20base%20at%20Bagram,%20on%20Nov.%2023,%202006.

Soldiers wait to have lunch during Thanksgiving Day celebrations at the U.S. base at Bagram, on Nov. 23, 2006.

http://Then-Senator%20Hillary%20Clinton%20is%20served%20lunch%20at%20a%20U.S.%20Army%20%20dining%20facility%20in%20Kirkuk,%20Iraq%20during%20a%20Congressional%20delegation%20visit%20on%20%20Nov.%2029,%202003.

Then-Senator Hillary Clinton is served lunch at a U.S. Army dining facility in Kirkuk, Iraq during a Congressional delegation visit on Nov. 29, 2003.

http://Above,%20then-Secretary%20of%20Defense%20William%20Perry%20cuts%20the%20%20first%20piece%20of%20a%20massive%20sheet%20cake%20at%20Camp%20Olden%20in%20Bosnia-Herzegovina,%20on%20%20Nov.%2028,%201996.

Above, then-Secretary of Defense William Perry cuts the first piece of a massive sheet cake at Camp Olden in Bosnia-Herzegovina, on Nov. 28, 1996.

http://Here,%20an%20U.S.%20marine%20serves%20a%20bit%20of%20American%20tradition%20to%20a%20%20British%20soldier%20at%20the%201st%20Marine%20Division%20combat%20center%20during%20%20Operation%20Desert%20Shield,%20Nov.%2023,%201990.

Here, an U.S. marine serves a bit of American tradition to a British soldier at the 1st Marine Division combat center during Operation Desert Shield, Nov. 23, 1990.

http://The%20military's%20efforts%20to%20bring%20holiday%20meals%20to%20troops%20%20dates%20back%20decades.%20Above,%20a%20soldier%20loads%20the%20Thanksgiving%20dinner%20aboard%20a%20%20UH1D%20"Huey"%20helicopter%20at%20Camp%20Enari,%20Vietnam,%20to%20go%20to%20Landing%20Zone%20St.%20George%20%20on%20Nov.%2027,%201969.

The military's efforts to bring holiday meals to troops dates back decades. Above, a soldier loads the Thanksgiving dinner aboard a UH1D "Huey" helicopter at Camp Enari, Vietnam, to go to Landing Zone St. George on Nov. 27, 1969.

http://Two%20days%20later,%20Specialist%20Ernest%20Young%20sits%20on%20a%20home-made%20%20chair%20while%20eating%20his%20Thanksgiving%20Day%20meal%20at%20Landing%20Zone%20St.%20George,%20%20Vietnam,%20Nov.%2029,%201969.

Two days later, Specialist Ernest Young sits on a home-made chair while eating his Thanksgiving Day meal at Landing Zone St. George, Vietnam, Nov. 29, 1969.

http://Specialist%20Ron%20Dillon%20shares%20his%20turkey%20dinner%20in%20the%20field%20%20with%20a%20dog%20that%20had%20wandered%20into%20camp%20at%20An%20The,%20Vietnam,%20Nov.%201967.

Specialist Ron Dillon shares his turkey dinner in the field with a dog that had wandered into camp at An The, Vietnam, Nov. 1967.

http://A%20chaplain%20conducts%20a%20Thanksgiving%20services%20on%20Nov.%2023,%20%201950%20in%20Korea.

A chaplain conducts a Thanksgiving services on Nov. 23, 1950 in Korea.

http://Soldiers%20in%20the%201st%20Signal%20Battalion%20line%20up%20for%20%20the%20Thanksgiving%20meal%20at%20Hamhung,%20Korea%20on%20Nov.%2024,%201950.

Soldiers in the 1st Signal Battalion line up for the Thanksgiving meal at Hamhung, Korea on Nov. 24, 1950.

http://Here,%20after%20the%20end%20of%20World%20War%20II,%20volunteers%20from%20the%20%20Women's%20Army%20Corps%20serve%20Thanksgiving%20dinner%20to%20orphans%20in%20Frankfurt,%20Germany%20%20on%20Nov.%2028,%201946.

Here, after the end of World War II, volunteers from the Women's Army Corps serve Thanksgiving dinner to orphans in Frankfurt, Germany on Nov. 28, 1946.

http://American%20soldiers%20enjoy%20a%20Thanksgiving%20dinner%20at%20Poltava%20%20Airbase,%20Russia%20in%20Nov.%201944.

American soldiers enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner at Poltava Airbase, Russia in Nov. 1944.

http://A%20cook,%20caught%20at%20an%20inopportune%20moment%20by%20the%20photographer,%20%20serves%20a%20turkey%20drumstick.%20The%20soldiers%20were%20stationed%20on%20the%20Aleutian%20Island%20%20of%20Attu.%20On%20Nov.%2025,%201943,%20it%20was%20the%20first%20time%20during%20World%20War%20II%20that%20%20U.S.%20soldiers%20celebrated%20the%20holiday%20in%20American%20territory%20recaptured%20from%20the%20%20Japanese.

A cook, caught at an inopportune moment by the photographer, serves a turkey drumstick. The soldiers were stationed on the Aleutian Island of Attu. On Nov. 25, 1943, it was the first time during World War II that U.S. soldiers celebrated the holiday in American territory recaptured from the Japanese.

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U.S. and allied military personnel attend a Thanksgiving church service amid airplane parts in a hangar at the 2nd Base Air Depot, Lancashire, England, on Nov. 25, 1943.

http://U.S.%20soldiers%20in%20the%202nd%20Service%20Group%20sing%20with%20%20a%20piano%20accompaniment%20at%20Air%20Force%20engineering%20shop%20in%20%20Iceland%20on%20Nov.%2026,%201942.

U.S. soldiers in the 2nd Service Group sing with a piano accompaniment at Air Force engineering shop in Iceland on Nov. 26, 1942.

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