USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors were treated to an all-American Thanksgiving meal aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Nov. 24.
No oven was left cold as 400 pounds of ham, 50 whole turkeys, nine large beef roasts and eight whole pigs cooked throughout the day. In addition to the various meats, the crew of nearly 4,000 was treated to many holiday favorites including 150 pounds of cranberry sauce, green-bean casserole, dressing, and sweet potatoes. Nearly 300 pumpkin, lemon meringue, apple, blueberry, cherry and Boston creme pies, as well as numerous cakes and cheesecakes were baked for the crew.
"We had 90 Sailors prepping, cooking, and baking for nearly 12 hours to make this meal a success," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW/SCW) Patricia Alexander.
Everyone's hard work did not go unnoticed. The aromas alone were enough to jog childhood memories.
"Smelling all of the food throughout the ship reminds me of home," said Seaman (SW) Julie Nguyen. "My mom would always be in the kitchen when we woke up Thanksgiving morning, and smelling her cooking would get me and my brother excited. It's like that here. I couldn't wait for chow to open."
Crewmembers filled the mess decks, which were adorned with orange tablecloths and festive decorations hung from the ceiling. Officers served food and passed out dessert to enlisted personnel.
"I thought it was cool that the commanding officer served me dinner," said Electrician's Mate Seaman Yuming Ma.
For many young Sailors, this Thanksgiving was their first holiday away from home, but they didn't let that put a damper on their spirit.
"At first the thought of spending Thanksgiving out at sea was discouraging," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Melanie Washington. "It's not as bad as I thought it would be. I had a lot of fun cooking and making a mess in the kitchen."
Most American families gather around the dining table to catch up with one another on Thanksgiving, and for some Sailors, the same atmosphere remained even thousands of miles away from home.
"I've become really close to my friends on the ship these past six months," said Religious Programs Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Daniel AriasGarcia. "They have become family to me, and for them I am thankful."
The commanding officer, Capt. Brian Luther, addressed the crew and took a moment to share what he was thankful for.
"Today, I give thanks for the courage of your service throughout our workups and deployment," Luther said. "Day or night, rain or shine, regardless of the weather or seas, there has not been a day when you haven't given your all."
George H.W. Bush is underway in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility on its first operational deployment conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.