SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) were joined by friends, family and shipmates for a Thanksgiving feast on board the Barracks Ship (APL-65) Nov. 26.
Carl Vinson Commanding Officer, Capt. Karl Thomas and Executive Officer, Capt. Eric Anduze, showed the importance of taking care of shipmates by sharing Thanksgiving dinner with their families and their Sailors.
Before the holiday, Thomas said he wanted to make sure his crew felt included and cared for during Thanksgiving. He encouraged Sailors to reach out and care for each other, especially during the holiday.
In an email to the Carl Vinson crew just days before the holiday, Thomas stated, "[Carl Vinson crew members] may not have family to share the holidays with, or may not get invited to a friend's house. Seek out these folks and include them. There are also many options available to include free meals at MWR Centers, a terrific spread on the barge at a bargain price (bring your family), and many individuals on the ship that are taking single Sailors in for a home-cooked meal (thank you).
Please keep your antennas up during this time of year and ask each other what you are planning. Let's make sure we are taking care of all our crew and that nobody falls through the cracks."
Ship's company Culinary Specialists began preparations for the feast a month in advance to ensure that participating Sailors would feel right at home.
"Preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the crew was extremely rewarding," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Juris Marius Malapit. "Some Sailors may not have anywhere to spend the holiday, or may be on duty, so being able to give them a little piece of home with this dinner was very gratifying for me, and my department."
The event was attended by over 300 Sailors and their families, who crowded the mess decks and shared in the tradition of giving thanks and eating all the holiday standards such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.
"I didn't expect to celebrate Thanksgiving this year," said Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) Airman Emily Schmidt. "I couldn't make it home this year, and am on duty for the holiday, so I was very surprised to see how elaborate the meal and celebration was. It was heartwarming to be able to spend time with some good friends and see my ship's leadership so concerned with our well-being."
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing a Chief of Naval
Operations Planned Incremental Availability in its homeport of San Diego.