PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors on duty were able to spend Thanksgiving aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Nov. 23, enjoying food and fellowship with their families and friends.
"It was a unique experience," said Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Garfield Christie, food production chief. "I wanted to make sure everyone away from home had a good experience."
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) Airman Brian Fletcher's uncle traveled from Ohio to spend time with his nephew and was impressed by the spread the culinary specialists laid out.
"The food, the turkey was great," he said.
While the food was good, Fletcher's uncle felt the experience was more about fellowship than food.
"Thanksgiving is about spending time with family," he said.
Knowing that spending time with their Sailors was important, Truman's Commanding Officer, Capt. Herm Shelanski and Executive Officer, Cmdr. Ronald Reis brought their families aboard to share in the Thanksgiving festivities.
Shelanski's son and daughter dressed in chef's hats and walked around with plates of roast beef to serve to Sailors and their guests, while Reis and his daughter manned the shrimp station offering not only shrimp, but eggnog and cake to hungry Sailors and their families.
Culinary Specialist Seaman Jeremy Williams said he had participated in two other Thanksgivings aboard, but was in the background then. He was happy to be up front this time carving meat for the Sailors and their families.
"I got to mingle with people and see everyone smile," said Williams. "For me, that's what made it worth it."
Food Service Officer Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Nguyen was impressed with not only his crew's ability to handle preparing a meal for a large crowd, but the small details his staff dedicated to this event.
"I saw the garnish on both sides of the lines," said Nguyen. "I know they spent a lot of time on the watermelon crock, pineapple basket with carved rose potatoes, and honeydew melon baskets."
He applauds the hard work by his Sailors in the galley and mess decks by acknowledging the Thanksgiving meal would not have been possible without their help.
"It is a team effort. Without the staff, none of this would be possible," he said. "They put a lot of effort into the meal and afterwards."
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.