Thanksgiving is a big operation at nearby Fort Leonard Wood. It included more than 13,000 meals during the lunch celebration, and 31,000-plus meals throughout the day — utilizing 8,000 pounds of turkey, 1,500 pounds of shrimp, 2,000 pounds of prime rib and 3,000 assorted cakes and pies with all the accompaniments. Credit: (Fort Leonard Wood photograph)

Fort Leonard Wood held its traditional Thanksgiving Day celebration on Nov. 25 in 13 dining facilities on post, with meals for service members, as well as a specific time and location for Department of Defense ID cardholders, retirees and their families.

According to Beverly Leggett, Installation Food Program manager, plans were set to serve more than 13,000 meals during the lunch celebration, and 31,000-plus meals throughout the day — utilizing 8,000 pounds of turkey, 1,500 pounds of shrimp, 2,000 pounds of prime rib and 3,000 assorted cakes and pies with all the accompaniments.

More than 600 food-service employees prepare the feast and serve it alongside senior leadership.

“I consider the Thanksgiving meal on Fort Leonard Wood to be the ‘Super Bowl of Food Service’ which highlights the talent and commitment of food service professionals and comradery, which we see displayed across the installation,” Leggett said. “Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with family and friends, and for every service member that is training here on Fort Leonard Wood, their table will look different — the faces will be different — but the warmth which is felt will remain the same. It is with great honor that for every slice of turkey, candied sweet potato, assorted salads and delicious festive deserts, we serve those who serve. ”

Food preparations at Fort Leonard Wood.

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, this meal was similar to last year’s requirements, Leggett said.

“2021 has been a challenge,” Leggett said. “In the midst of an ever-changing climate, I have seen the dedication between the workforce made up of primarily active military, DOD civilians and contractors consistently driving change. Daily, I see this community give 100 percent, and every day I am grateful to be a part of an amazing team.”

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