Ft. Jackson serves Thanksgiving dinner to recruits - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Ft. Jackson serves Thanksgiving dinner to recruits

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Soldiers at Fort Jackson enjoy Thanksgiving meal Soldiers at Fort Jackson enjoy Thanksgiving meal

In the regimented, by-the-book world of the Army, smiling officers dishing out platefuls of Thanksgiving goodness might seem out of place.

But this is how Fort Jackson does it.

"We've got 500 pounds of turkey, 300 pounds of prime rib," said Kenneth Rice, who has been prepping with his staff for this meal all month.

A retired soldier himself, Rice knows what it means.

"I know how it is to be away from home for many Thanksgivings," he said. "I just want them to know there's a staff of people who care about them."

"Roast beef and chicken and cornbread,everything you could want for Thanksgiving," said Private Brian Sohn of California. "Beats the MRE we had this morning."      

"It's a big holiday in my family," said Sohn. "My mom's pretty upset I'm not going to be there, but she's proud of me so it's all good."

"It's a pretty big deal back home," said 18-year-old Private Cayten Joaquin, who is a long way from Hawaii. Joaquin and his buddies from the 120th Adjutant General Battalion have been at Fort Jackson for just about a week.

He said that's not enough time to get homesick.

"It hasn't hit me yet, I'm still there, ya know? Probably when I wake up tomorrow it'll hit me."

That's why Price says the prep time and work involved is worth it.  Serving up a little slice of home thousands of miles away.

"I don't look at it as a responsibility," said Rice. "It's a privilege serving these kids."

The same scene was repeated at dining facilities across post Wednesday. Every recruit gets a Thanksgiving dinner.

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