NAS PAXRVR sailors enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at the Liberty Center. (U.S. Navy Photo)
NAS PATUXENT RIVER, Md.—Not everyone can make it home for the holidays, and that is especially true for members of the military.
Helping to soften the blow, the Liberty Center—a program within Morale, Welfare and Recreation—is inviting all single and unaccompanied E-1 to E-6 Sailors at NAS Patuxent River to join them for a traditional dinner with all the trimmings.
The buffet style meal, which is provided at no charge, will be ready for them to indulge at noon on Thanksgiving Day, explained Michelle Maynard, Liberty Center coordinator. All of the cooking will be done at Rivers Edge Catering and Conference Center that morning and then the food will be brought over to Liberty.
The menu includes turkey and ham, gravy, mashed or cheesy potatoes, green beans, corn, biscuits, cranberry relish, corn bread and an assortment of pies including pumpkin, apple and pecan.
Maynard added that the Pax River Officers Spouses Club graciously provides an array of additional desserts for the dinner, which is manned by the on-site Liberty staff.
Weve also had Chief Petty Officer Association volunteers help serve food during our last two Thanksgiving events, she said.
For Sailors in attendance, there will be door prizes given away throughout the day, in addition to other activities taking place.
But theyll have to be there to find out whats in store, Maynard teased.
While the dinner is limited to E-6 personnel and below, it is not limited to those living in the barracks; the event is also open for those Sailors living out in town.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are the biggest holidays of the year and these young men and women are here unaccompanied, without family to spend time with, Maynard said. The Liberty Program is here to create that social family setting that theyd otherwise be missing out on. This time of year should be spent celebrating and having fun—and thats what Liberty Center is here to provide.