- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving dinner for deployed combat troops might look a bit different Thursday than in past years because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Where overseas military personnel once gathered in large dining halls for their turkey and dressing, this year’s festivities will look more like a “grab and go” takeout, officials said.

But, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) still managed to ship out 9,000 whole turkeys, 21,000 pounds of ham and 16,000 pounds of sweet potatoes — among other Thanksgiving favorites — to the troops on the front line. The agency started planning for this year’s meal in March with the turkeys and trimmings arriving overseas in March.

“Our supply chain takes the holidays very seriously,” said Army Col. Eric McCoy, the DLA’s troop support subsistence director. “Our troops are far away from home, and they definitely look forward to this meal. Disappointing them is not an option.”

Even with the pandemic, most overseas units received their Thanksgiving Day supplies by mid-November, officials said.

“We want to make sure they get that taste of home no matter where they are in the world,” said Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, the DLA’s troop support commander.

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