By Spc. Nathan Thome
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
The aroma of roasted turkeys filled the Fort Carson Culinary Academy as food service specialists from across post cooked and carved turkeys, Nov. 19-21, to be served to those in need throughout the Colorado Springs community on Thanksgiving Day.
Twenty-five Soldiers volunteered their time to prepare and package 300 turkeys, along with mashed potatoes, green beans and stuffing.
“We’re cooking this food to help feed the homeless,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Scott, food service specialist, Battery G, 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “We made enough food to be delivered to four sites, which is about a total of 3,000 people … so I think this is something good that the Army does each and every year.”
The meal preparation also provided Soldiers a training opportunity.
“What the Soldiers have done in these three days just goes to show that there is no limit to what they can accomplish,” said Scott. “Each and every one of them stepped up, rose to the occasion, and accomplished great things.”
Scott said the skills the cooks gained from cooking the food in a limited time is something they can bring back to their units and apply at their dining facilities.
This year the cooks succeeded in accomplishing something that has never happened before, said Scott.
“These Soldiers shocked me; we were told that it was impossible to cook 300 turkeys in one day, but they were so motivated that they ended up proving everyone wrong,” Scott said.
Every Soldier involved with preparing the Thanksgiving meals was a volunteer.
“This event was put out to all of us (working) in the dining facilities, and they told us we could volunteer for it,” said Pfc. Lorenzo Herrera, food service specialist, Company E, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade. “I stepped up and volunteered because it was something I was very interested in.”
Each food service specialist moved fluidly as they prepared the meals.
“Preparing all this food was a lot of work, but everyone worked together and (it) became more than just work,” said Herrera. “We had a lot of fun, and this is something I’ll remember for a long time.”
Herrera said if he is still at Fort Carson next year, he will volunteer again because this opportunity had such an impact on him.
Some of the Soldiers even decided to go the extra mile and serve the food Thanksgiving Day.
“I’m going to be at one of the serving sites in Colorado Springs because I like serving food. I like seeing the look on people’s faces when they see the food I prepare for them,” said Herrera.
As their final day of cooking came to a close, the Soldiers walked away with their mission a success.
“I enjoyed this because I knew I was doing something to help the community out, and that’s what the Army is about, helping the people in our community and our country,” said Herrera.