1st Infantry Division continues Thanksgiving dinner tradition amid COVID-19 safety precautions.


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Thanksgiving was held at Fort Riley, with some notable adjustments this year due to COVID-19.

Meals were served Thursday afternoon to soldiers at the Devil’s Den and Whitside Dining Facilities, with several safety protocols in place, including tents set up outside the facilities. Culinary Specialist Sgt. Gabriel Bailey.

“We were estimating for about 1500 personnel to be in the building  and due to COVID and having to stay six feet apart we wanted to ensure we had enough seating available for the Soldiers that is why we implemented the tents outside and seating outside as well,” said Bailey.

The meal, which typically includes soldiers and their families was just for soldiers this year, and the hours were extended to accommodate everyone. Culinary Specialist Sgt. Kananikapuamauhia Samson.
“We could cancel Thanksgiving but of course being in the Army and being at Fort Riley and with Service members being so far away from their families we wanted  to ensure that we continue this tradition that the Army has,”
she said. “Thanksgiving has always been a big thing for 92Gs [Culinary Specialist] so we wanted to ensure that even though this year 2020 has been crazy for everyone we wanted to ensure that at Thanksgiving everyone could come together and have that family camaraderie.”
The dining facilities also participated in the Commanding General’s best Thanksgiving dining facility competition, with Whitside winning this year for its “Taste of Europe” theme. Devil’s Den’s theme was “Island Fusion.”

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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