Memorable Thanksgivings

Today was a wonderful day: outstanding late fall weather, great coverage of local high school football by WCAP to accompany food prep, friends and family over for a relaxed, more-than-filling turkey dinner, plenty of leftovers, a Patriots win, and Keith Urban performing at halftime of the Cowboys game (disregard that last one – just seeing if you were paying attention).

But holidays make me nostalgic and today was no different, so I searched my memory for a Thanksgiving that really stands out. My most memorable Thanksgiving occurred thirty years ago in 1980. Just a week earlier on my 22nd birthday I arrived in West Germany to begin a three year tour of duty with the US Army. Still living out of my duffel bag and sleeping in an attic room of the family housing complex while waiting for space in the BOQ (Bachelor Officers Quarters) to come available, I wasn’t settled enough to be lonely on my first holiday out of the country. But no one is allowed to be lonely on Thanksgiving in the military. Clad in their dress blues, commanders join their unaccompanied troops at the mess hall for a banquet that’s a year in the planning. Those with families gather together in military housing for shared feasts. I was fortunate to be invited to such a dinner and spent a wonderful day with a group of just-met colleagues and their families who treated me like a longtime friend. I’ll always remember that day.

That’s my story. I’m sure everyone has a similar tale to tell. Please share yours.