INDIAN OCEAN (Nov. 24, 2011) – Sailors and Marines aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex came together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday at sea Nov. 24.
The holiday began with a turkey trot 5k fun run around the flight deck, hosted by the ship’s morale, welfare and recreation department.
“It’s a traditional fun run to bring a little of home at sea,” said David Glazier, Essex fit boss. “Just because we are at sea during the holidays doesn’t mean we can’t make it an enjoyable Thanksgiving for the crew.”
The Thanksgiving feast began in the afternoon on the mess decks and featured a special meal prepared by approximately 40 of Essex’ culinary specialists and food service attendants.
“We started preparing the food last night by marinating the meats and thawing out approximately 60 turkeys for this meal,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Jeremy Goyeau. “Celebrating Thanksgiving at sea boosts morale of the crew, and meals like this remind me of being at home. I hope we made everyone feel like they were at home too.”
Essex Commanding Officer Capt. David Fluker, along with Essex Executive Officer Capt. Daniel Dusek and Command Master Chief, Master Chief Information Systems Technician Matt Ruane, assisted with serving the crew their meals.
“I want to thank our amazingly talented culinary specialists for such a wonderful meal,” said Fluker. “Although we were away from our homes, we did get to enjoy dinner with our Essex family.”
The holiday meal featured traditional Thanksgiving dishes for everyone to enjoy including oven roasted turkey, prime rib, fried shrimp, ham and all the sides and desserts to go with it.
“Spending my Thanksgiving on Essex makes me feel happy because we are all a family and it’s good to enjoy a good meal and good company,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Felix Inca. “It’s good to see that our leadership could take time out of their day to spend a holiday like Thanksgiving with the crew.”
Later on that evening, the MWR department held a turkey trivia contest on the mess decks asking questions about Thanksgiving traditions.
Essex is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.