Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what is most important. It is a time to spend with those you are close to and share a meal that reflects the many blessings received in the prior year.
Thanksgiving is important to service members since it is time spent with families coupled with copious amounts of food. The importance of those two things is never lost on the members of the United States Army.
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH ) celebrates Turkey Day with a Thanksgiving meal on the Wednesday before the official holiday. It gives senior leaders a chance to serve the Soldiers that work tirelessly all year to make the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment the premier ceremonial unit in the U.S. Army.
The obvious question posed is a simple one: What are you thankful for?
For Sfc. Deneva L. Payne, the NCOIC in the dining facility, giving a joyful food experience is fulfilling her primary mission. She said she was thankful for being able to work with with a chain of command and Soldiers who work as a team.
“I’m thankful for the fact I have an opportunity to do that and feed the Soldiers,” said Payne.
Payne said the motivation and dedication of her chain of command and her staff allows the vision of the Thanksgiving Meal to become a reality.
“Our goal in food service is to bring morale to a unit and installation to a high level,” said Payne. “And by doing that we provide outstanding food service and excellence in everything we do.”
Two members of the Regiment’s senior leadership that helped serve food at the Thanksgiving meal were Maj. Tim Meadors and Capt. Marjana E. Bidwell.
“I’m thankful for America, the opportunity to serve in the Army along some of the greatest Americans I have ever known,” said Meadors.
“I’m thankful for my family and friends and their good health,” said Bidwell. “And I’m thankful for being an American.”
Spc. Henry J. Lajara was at the dining facility enjoying the holiday meal.
“I’m thankful for serving my country and being here,” said Lajara. “Right now I’m in a pretty good mood.”
Pfc. Drew J. Pasquarette was thankful for the U.S. Army.
“I’m thankful for all things the Army provides,” said Pasquarette. “They
provide me a room that I don’t have to pay money for, they provide me a place I can eat for free, and I’m thankful for all of the great people I have in my life.”
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the blessings of a meal and people to share it with. The opportunity to spend time with people you care about and come together for the sole purpose of enjoying each other’s company.
Soldiers of The Old Guard however, who often spend time conducting memorial affairs for fallen service members, do not overlook this occasion. The Soldiers of The Old Guard witness first hand how precious moments spent with people you care about are to be treasured.
Pfc. Kendrick B. Jackson summed up the holiday when he said, “I’m thankful to be alive.”