January 20, 2022

U.S. Veterans

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Fort Riley Thanksgiving meal without families or community members due to the Covid-19 pandemic

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#Thanksgiving #1ID. #1st Infantry Division

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Fort Riley Thanksgiving 2020

Fort Riley Soldiers break tradition this year and held their Thanksgiving meal without families or community members due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the change Soldiers still held their Thanksgiving meal competition and received food from all over the world.

MG D.A. Sims and CSM Raymond S. Harris cut the 1st Infantry Division cakes at Whitside Dining Facility on November 25, 2020.

Devils Den Dining Facility held a Island Fusion themed Thanksgiving Meal on November 25, 2020 featuring food from Hawaii, Guam, and Jamaica.

Whitside Dining Facility held a Tour of Europe themed Thanksgiving meal on November 25, 2020 featuring food from France, United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy.

Interviewee #1: SGT Kananikapuamauhia Samson
Whitside Dining Facility’s Administration NCOIC

“Of course with Covid going on we want to make sure that Soldiers’ safety is our main priority. So within our dining facility for the Thanksgiving meal today we set up some barriers so that we can ensure Service Members can sit at the tables, more than one person can sit at each table. We also have precautions in which civilians will have to get to-go plates just to ensure their safety so that we don’t have any covid cases contracting in and out. Also, no dependents were able to come in just to ensure they are safe during these times.”

“We could cancel Thanksgiving but of course being in the Army and being at Fort Riley and with Service members being so far away from their families we wanted to ensure that we continue this tradition that the Army has. Thanksgiving has always been a big thing for 92G so we wanted to ensure that even though this year 2020 has been crazy for everyone we wanted to ensure that at Thanksgiving everyone could come together and have that family camaraderie.”

“So our theme this year is European. We wanted to make it European because here at Fort Riley we do have a lot of training events in Europe so we wanted to broadcast that to make sure that we had multiple countries in Europe, so we have the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy.”

Interviewee #2:
SGT Bailey
Devil’s Den Dining Facility Culinary Specialist

“It’s really important for us as a team here at Devil’s Dining facility simply because we are able to provide the Soldier with a Thanksgiving experience being that Covid is a major effect we wanted to make sure the Soldier feel at home so we implemented this Island infusion theme so that they can feel like they’re away from work when they enter the building. So today is a big day for us here at Devils Den.”

“It’s really important for us as a team here at Devils Den Dining facility simply because some of the Soldiers are not able to go home to their families and loved ones and that can affect them mentally so we just wanted to make them feel at home and be a family with them.”

“Today we were estimating for about 1500 personnel to be in the building and due to Covid and having to stay six feet apart we wanted to ensure we had enough seating available for the Soldiers that is why we implemented the tents outside and seating outside as well.”

Film Credits: Video by Ann Olamiju
1st Infantry Division







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