Fort Drum soldiers serve thousands holiday feast

ABC50 NOW

The traditional Thanksgiving meal at Fort Drum is all about providing 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers and family members a memorable meal to get everyone in the holiday mood. Teams of culinary specialists at each of the dining facilities on post worked early this morning to put the final touches on the meal and the decorations, but it was days of decorating, preparation and cooking to serve thousands on Nov. 23. (2nd Brigade Combat Team PAO photo)

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade’s Flight Line Warrior Restaurant prepared thousands of pounds of food, decorated and set up displays before opening for diners on November 23.

According to a press release from Fort Drum, each dining facility on post was prepared to serve 500 to 700 meals. Muleskinner Warrior Restaurant manager Staff Sgt. Zahra Owens said a lot of preparation was needed to ensure they had enough food for everyone.

“As of this morning, we had two 100-pound whole pigs roasted, about 900 pounds of whole turkey, seven to eight spiral hams, 200 pounds of Cornish hens and lobster tails, shrimp cocktail … we have a lot of food,” Owens said. “Then you have all the sides, going from mac ‘n’ cheese, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes and cornbread stuffing – we have it all.”

The culinary team also helped decorate the restaurant with an “Alice in Wonderland” theme. Owens said that the culinary specialists had fun creating their living fairy tale.

“You walk in and see flowers coming from the ceiling, and there’s a massive tea party display with three-tier cakes and cookies, macaroons, and teacups on the table,” Owens said. “At another section of the dining area, you see the Queen of Hearts, with the half-painted roses because she doesn’t like them.”

Flight Line Warrior Restaurant assistant manager Sgt. 1st Class Julio Quintanillaceron said this event was one of the largest efforts of the year, and highlighted the importance of providing for those on base.

“This is our ‘Super Bowl’ so everybody was excited to be a part of this,” Quintanillaceron said. “For some Soldiers on the post, this is their first time being away from home. So being able to serve them this meal and see the smiles on their faces is a great pleasure for us.”

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