On November 24, USS Russell (DDG 59) Sailors and their families gathered aboard the ship to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving celebration.
Thanks to the hard work of the ship’s culinary specialists and other volunteers, the festive day was marked by the serving of a variety of traditional dishes and unique, custom table settings.
Russell’s culinary specialists worked throughout the night to ensure the meal was perfect and everything was ready on time. Petty Officers Nicoleray Daos, Efrain Martinez, Jr., Johnathan Romero and Ernesto Rivera arrived at 3 a.m. to begin preparing the Turkey and Ham for the slow four hour cooking process.
Reinforcements appeared a couple hours later at 6 a.m. when the remainder of S-2 Division arrived and began baking more than 300 cookies, preparing side dishes and chopping kale for garnishes on a variety of dishes. The division ultimately prepared 9 carved turkeys, 7 honey hams, trays of sweet and mashed potatoes, and more than 10 pecan, pumpkin, and apple pies.
Petty Officer Second Class Antonio Bailey helped lead the team.
“We really enjoyed getting the S-2 family together to make sure that it was a great Thanksgiving for everyone onboard,” Bailey said.
In addition to the Sailors who spent the day on duty standing watches topside and in the engineering plant, a number of crew members returned to the ship to attend the festivities on their day off.
Petty Officer First Class Tyler Carter was one of them and brought his significant other along to share in the experience.
“I knew that the CS’s would put together a great meal so I attended with my girlfriend,” Tyler said. “The food was awesome and we were happy to attend.”
The culinary specialists also spent time creating table decorations from apples and potatoes. They shared their expertise with members of the crew, including the day’s Command Duty Officer, Lt. j. g. Michelle Tabach.
“It was enjoyable to learn some of the skills that our sailors use, I might even try carving apples at home in the future,” said Tabach.
Other junior officers took advantage of the passing holiday to adorn the wardroom with festive winter decorations. Ensigns Molly Schleicher and Patricia Meehan created and hung paper snowflakes, tinsel and ornaments from the ceiling and walls, saying they were excited for the holiday season and hoping the decorations would add some additional cheer to the Wardroom.
Overall it was a highly eventful day for many members of the crew and a Thanksgiving celebration that will be remembered on board Russell for many months to come.