Author: Michael Kidd

Thanksgiving on Base

The Holidays Are Starting On Base

 

Military Life Between The Holidays

When you’re enlisted, you go where the military sends you. That isn’t even a rule, so much as a fact of life. Sometimes you get lucky, and you wind up getting a duty station relatively close to home, but just as likely you can wind up on the other side of the country, if not the other side of the planet. This can be really exciting sometimes. Being stationed far away from home is the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons. You can learn what people are like in other countries. You can try foods and restaurants you had never even considered before. You might even pick up a few words in a foreign language. All of that is fun. And then Thanksgiving starts inching closer.

 

Ain’t No Place Like Home

Even if you do have an opportunity to take leave for Christmas, and you don’t always have that opportunity, you probably won’t have enough leave days or money to go home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Especially if you’re lower-ranking, it can take just as much time to save leave days as it does to save up vacation money. And without time or money, you’ll be spending Thanksgiving on base. Often the base is hundreds or thousands of miles away from your family. It’s not even possible to drive home for a weekend away. That can be a depressing experience to deal with.

 

Bringing Home To You

However, it’s also a time that really highlights the camaraderie and culture of life on base. All around you, your fellow service members go out of their way to ensure everyone who lives there gets to celebrate the holiday. The cooks put in extra work to make sure every soldier can eat their favorites from home. Decorations are hung all over the dining facility to make it look as festive as possible. All of the base’s administrators work double-time to make sure no service member is forced to miss out on the joy of Thanksgiving.

 

A Day Of Gratitude

Officers don their dress uniforms and serve the soldiers. Good officers show their gratitude regularly, but Thanksgiving is probably the most sincere and human gesture of gratitude higher-ranking service members offer to lower-ranking members all year. They make speeches commemorating the soldiers’ hard work and dedication over the course of the year. 

 

Above & Beyond The Call Of Duty

The service members lucky enough to have their families living on or near the base go even further than that. Many of them invite fellow service members into their homes to join their family’s festivities. These soldiers, uncoerced and without obligation, open up their homes to ensure that none of their brothers and sisters in arms have to go without. Many young soldiers have found themselves embraced whole-heartedly by the families of their squad members. For many service members, Thanksgiving on base can be safer, more comfortable, and less stressful than the Thanksgiving they knew growing up. Everyone is given a seat at the table, both metaphorically and literally. All are welcome. All are loved. All are members of the family.

 

Ringing In The Season 

Being on the base over Thanksgiving is a challenging experience when the base is nowhere near your family. And the beautiful thing about that is that that is when everyone living on base works a little bit harder to make life better for everyone. It’s a phenomenal show of generosity that perfectly heralds in the Christmas season.

 

Thanksgiving Is For Gratitude

Our service members give up so much for us. They make phenomenal sacrifices for their fellow countrymen every day, but especially around the holidays. If you would like to show our men and women in the service how grateful you are for their service this Thanksgiving, My Hero Crate is happy to give a little bit of the holidays back to service members who can’t get home for Thanksgiving. Simply purchase a Thanksgiving Care Package to ensure that a service member can have a little taste of the holiday, no matter where they are in the world.

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