WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (US Army) Some 183,600 soldiers are spending the Thanksgiving holiday deployed in 140 countries around the globe, supporting combatant commanders and protecting America’s vital strategic interests, the Army says.

Many of those deployed Soldiers are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, far away from home for the Thanksgiving holiday, said Susan Lowe, a spokesperson for the Defense Logistics Agency.

This year, DLA will again ensure those deployed Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those in Kuwait and Jordan, will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal similar to what their loved ones back home will be eating.

To make that happen, Lowe said, DLA has provided an array of Thanksgiving food items overseas to be prepared by military cooks. That includes:

— 98,820 pounds of turkey
— 47,880 pounds of beef
— 31,650 pounds of ham
— 30,384 pounds of shrimp
— 918 gallons of eggnog
— 6,288 pies
— 9,378 cakes, including 382 cheesecakes

Altogether, those proteins equal about 104 tons. And with the pies and cakes and eggnog — a whole lot of calories as well.

Tamara Passut, a patient advocate at U.S. Army Health Command — Vicenza, Italy, urged Soldiers who are deployed, as well as Soldiers back home and their family members to enjoy their Thanksgiving meals, but to go easy on their food portions and to make sure most of the food eaten consists of lean portions of meat as well as a healthy heaping of vegetables.


She also encouraged everyone to visit their installation wellness center to receive a free metabolic assessment and to develop a calorie-reduction strategy, if need, to meet their weight-loss goals.


As the holidays approach, she said, “remember it’s up to you to take control of your health!”

(Follow David Vergun on Twitter: @vergunARNEWS)