In my 67 years, I have had many memorable Thanksgivings.  A lot of them center around the Holiday meals we had in the Military.   I always tried to wear my red apron and my Santa Hat and serve pie to everyone that came through the line.   My favorite was to get to ask the small one's if they wanted "Pumpkin?"   Add a dollop of whipped cream and everyone went away with a smile on their face.

One Thanksgiving that I won't forget was the one in 1968.  I was sent out with a Montagnard unit for a three week operation  in the Plei Trap Valley.  When the mission first came down, it was a three day operation and in translation it turned into a three week operation.  I showed up with 9 C-ration meals and though I would be all good.  When we were told that it would be a three week operation, I had to go to the Special Forces camp and get the remainder of the meals in Freeze dried rice.   Basically it was a 2 oz. portion of some meat and a bag of rice for each day.  I saved the C-Ration meals to fill out the rest of the days.   Cheese and crackers became a meal rather than a snack.  One of the meals was boned turkey and I knew that Thanksgiving was right in the middle of the operation.  I saved that lone can of boned turkey out as special for that day.   When the day broke, we were ordered to make about a 5 mile move and it took almost all day.   That evening, I sat down to my bag of rice and can of turkey.  I smiled and gave thanks for living another day and that I had anything at all to eat.  From then forward, I always was glad to have anything served.  I am an easy guy to please.  In fact I love to pitch in and help get the meal ready.  I don't know if my smashed potatoes are really that good or if the wife has just convinced me that so I would fix them. 

One of the best ways for the meat is to smoke or grill the turkey. On Wednesday, it was cold and a 30 MPH wind was blowing.  I knew I didn't have to sit out there and be with the bird so I got everything ready and smoked it.  It sat in the Fridge overnight and I deboned it and put it in a pan to re-heat for lunch.   I also will make the dressing and the potatoes in a little while.   Barb will do the pies and rolls and the veggies.  Barb Jr. is going to make baked Brussel sprouts and help set it all up. 

I am glad to have the life I have and the friends and family to share it all with.  I hope you all have a great day and get to share it with them.  I will.


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