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Thanksgiving Feast offers convenience, home atmosphere

Published: November 21, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 21, 2014) -- Military families are often unable to return home for holidays, but The Landing aims to provide a home-cooked meal and a home away home for the Fort Rucker community this Thanksgiving.

The Landing’s annual Thanksgiving feast, which boasts a wide selection of traditional dishes, is Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. However, Sara E. Martin, Five Star Catering operations assistant, said the feast offers much more than a hot meal.

“The Thanksgiving Feast offers more than just food,” Martin said. “It offers a way for friends and family to gather without the stressors of whose house will host this year, who will prepare what dish, who will be responsible for clean up, and so on.

“You can do it all, but you don’t have to,” she added. “By eating with us on Thanksgiving Day, you will have all the comfort foods of home like juicy turkey and ham, warm casseroles and delicious desserts. As important as good food is to this holiday in America, family is too. So unchain yourself from the stove this Thanksgiving to make more time for your Family.”

The event also provides an opportunity for Soldiers to bond with their Army family, according to Martin.

“Many Soldiers develop second families with others in their unit and their neighborhoods,” she said. “This is a chance for that second family to bond a bit more. Families can make reservations together so they sit jointly, which can make a holiday that might have passed uncelebrated to be looked back upon with fond memories.”

Reservations are recommended.  The meal will cost $16.95 for adults, $6.95 for children ages 6-12, $3.95 for children ages 3-5 and children age 2 and under eat for free. A military family special is available for two adults and two children, ages 12 and under, to eat for $39.50.

The Landing takes time to carefully organize and prepare the buffet-style meal.

“Five Star Catering spends weeks getting the food ordered,” Martin said. “We will have over 15 choices in starches, vegetables, meats and desserts. We begin taking reservations at the beginning of November to give families plenty of time to decide if they would like to eat with us or not.

“The day before the event is when things will get really busy as almost every worker we employ will either help set up for the event or will be serving Soldiers and their families, as well as the public, a Thanksgiving meal worth remembering,” she added. 

The dinner table is traditionally a place for families to share food, offer support and strengthen their bond. According to Martin, The Landing’s Thanksgiving feast strives to provide that unique atmosphere.

“Instead of spending hours in front of the stove and sink, families can appreciate the smiles, the laughs, the jokes and especially the time together by eating with us,” she said. “Soldiers and families are tough and strong, but the holidays are a chance for people to let go and savor every moment with children, siblings, parents and friends.”

The Landing has offered Thanksgiving meals to the Fort Rucker community for more than 40 years, according to Martin. How has it remained a continual success?

“I believe the families and their continued desire through the years to spend as much time with each other has made it successful,” Martin said. “Soldiers in training are always out of the home. So, when they have the time off to spend with family, many do not want to labor over an oven. They want to relax. So, in an effort to help them spend more time with their families, we continue to offer this feast.”

For more information or to make a reservation, call The Landing at 598-2426.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/138768/

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