Military News

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give Thanks; Eat Healthy

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) LaTunya Howard, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Healthy holiday eating is possible said a Navy nutrition expert, Nov. 21.

"The holiday season is quickly upon us and now is a great time to map out your strategy," said Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Wallinger, nutrition officer, Navy Physical Readiness Program. "We all have traditions, but planning ahead for what we know is coming can do a lot for our nutrition, not to mention our waist line, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure."

The holiday season is a time for celebration which traditionally includes enjoying good food with family and friends, Wallinger said.

"The problem comes in when the eating frenzy stretches from now into the New Year, where most annual weight is gained," she added. "Although this weight gain tends to be small, most people do not take it off and it continues to accumulate through the years. The holidays may not be the best time for weight loss, but it is a good time to practice damage control."

Wallinger offers tips for enjoying the holidays without over-indulging:

- Enjoy your meals and favorite foods, just try to eat less, make half your plate fruit and vegetables.
- Consider lightening some traditional recipes if you are cooking at home.
- Be selective and eat only the treats you really enjoy.
- Keep in mind a large portion of extra calories may come from beverages.

"The Navy's Nutrition Resource Guide is an excellent tool to review prior to beginning the festivities," said Wallinger. "The guide was developed to increase awareness of available Navy programs and resources to assist in improving performance and body composition, an essential component of physical fitness."

The nutrition guide is part of the Navy's Physical Readiness Program Operating Guide, the official supplement to OPNAVINST 6110.1J. The operating guide provides members with nutrition and fitness information that promotes a healthier lifestyle. It also provides the command fitness leader (CFL) with the tools to effectively manage his or her command physical readiness program.

The operating guide includes a trilogy of resources; The Nutrition Resource Guide, the "How To" Guide, and the Command/Unit Physical Training and Fitness Enhancement Program.

"Increasing your awareness when tempting treats are bountiful can help decrease over-indulgences and actually make the holidays more enjoyable," said Wallinger. "If excessive calories, sugar and salt are not what you are asking for this holiday season, consider creative solutions, be realistic and, above all, have fun."

To learn more about the Navy's Physical Readiness Program, nutrition and fitness, visit the Navy Personnel Website at or visit

George Washington Celebrates Thanksgiving

By USS George Washington Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Two days after returning to their forward operating port of Yokosuka, Japan, the crew of USS George Washington (CVN 73) took time to celebrate Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, giving thanks for the past year even though many are far away from their families overseas.

"This is my first Thanksgiving away from home, so I'm getting my mind ready to not to be with my family," said Airman Spencer Neil, from Atlanta. "But, I'm thankful for everything this year because all these things I have this year weren't here last year, so I'm joyous and thankful."

Last year's operational commitments required George Washington to return to sea, having the crew enjoying a Thanksgiving feast underway without their families. This year brought a welcomed change with those not on duty able to spend the holidays with family or friends. But, those working aboard the ship were not forgotten as Sailors working in the ship's galleys spent weeks planning a traditional Thanksgiving with all the tastes of a home-cooked meal including, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin pie.

"I'd rather work on Thanksgiving, to be around the atmosphere, around the people. For right now, and the next few years while I'm serving out my contract, this is my family," added Neil, who works as a food service attendant in the aft galley.

Culinary Specialists and Food Service Attendants working in the ship's galley, chief's mess, and wardroom spent nearly eight hours cooking, serving and cleaning up after the Thanksgiving meal. More than 600 pounds of turkey, 500 pounds of prime rib and nearly 400 pounds of ham were prepared to feed the nearly 1,500 personnel and their families who were aboard the carrier for the meal.

"When I walk by and I see people eating, it makes me happy because they're actually enjoying the meal," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Brooke Barnes of Georgetown, Texas. "Everyone put their little hearts and souls into the meal."

Senior enlisted members of the crew directed chow lines on both sides of the galley, ensuring Sailors didn't have to wait long to enjoy their meal.

"The food was fantastic, I was surprised how good it was," said Interior Communications Specialist 3rd Class Sean Gehrold from Ramtown, N.J. "It really made me feel a lot better about being on duty."

George Washington returned to her forward operating port of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka November 22 after a nine-week patrol as the Navy's only full-time forward-deployed aircraft carrier, ensuring security and stability across the western Pacific Ocean.

First Lady: Program Makes it Easy to Send Troops Holiday Thanks

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2011 – On this Thanksgiving holiday, Americans can take advantage of a new program that makes it easy to send online messages of support to troops and veterans everywhere, First Lady Michelle Obama said today. and the United Service Organizations, or USO, have partnered to create a program called Thanks From Everywhere, she said in a statement issued from the White House.

“Every Thanksgiving, Barack sits down to call some of our troops and thank them for their service,” she said.

“When he tells me about these conversations, it always reminds me of how blessed we are to live in a country where men and women will stand up to protect our freedoms and preserve our way of life,” she said. “And whenever I've had the chance to meet with these heroes and their families, I've always walked away inspired by their courage and in awe of their strength.”

As part of the program, notes will be added to a map with messages from people all over the country, showing the troops and their families how much the nation appreciates their service and sacrifice.

“If we all do our part, we'll help to build a wave of support to honor our veterans and their families and ensure they get the recognition they deserve this holiday season,” the first lady said.

“At a time when we are sitting down to share the blessings we've received this past year, please take a moment to be a part of this effort to thank America's heroes and their families,” she said.

Service Members Receive Free Thanksgiving Meals at Navy Region Southwest Headquarters

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stephen M. Votaw, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Servicemembers assigned to Commander, Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW) handed out complementary Thanksgiving meals to their fellow Sailors at the command's headquarters, Nov. 22.

The boxes of food were donated to CNRSW by Albertsons' Foods and handed out to service members who work at the command.

"We signed up with Operation Homefront who along with Albertsons' is providing a Thanksgiving box giveaway," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Janet Rodgerson, the event coordinator. "The boxes contained turkeys along with all the fixings for a family of eight."

Sailors handed out a total of 52 boxes that also contained mashed potatoes, a variety of side dishes, a pumpkin pie and sweet rolls.

"These kinds of events are important because it shows we care," said Rodgerson. "It helps to take away some of the stress from our Sailors for the holidays, and allows them to spend more time with their families and less worrying about how to pay for them."

Operation Homefront along with Albertsons' is providing more than 500 Thanksgiving meals to service members around the San Diego area this holiday season.

"It was a really wonderful way to help give back to the Sailors I work with," said Rodgerson. "Being able to see the smiles on people's faces when they pick up their boxes makes all of our hard work worthwhile."

Thanksgiving message from the Adjutant General of Wisconsin

Thursday is Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday where we pause and count our blessings.

For most of us, Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather together and share a sumptuous meal and engage in family traditions such as football, hunting or Black Friday shopping. It is no coincidence that more people travel on the Thanksgiving weekend than any other because we want to celebrate with our families.

November is also Military Family Month, when we take time to honor, recognize and remember the service, sacrifice and support family members provide each and every day. Even as military operations draw down overseas, we must not forget that we still have on-going operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and around the world — in fact, more than 300 Wisconsin Guardsmen are currently deployed. Those families will have at least one fewer place setting on Thanksgiving because their service member is serving overseas.

We greatly appreciate the continued support of families who support their loved one while he or she serves our nation. The commitment and support of our families are the very foundation that our Soldiers and Airmen use to sustain them during contingency operations.

That support is not limited to deployments. National Guard families make room in their schedule for weekend drills and plan around annual trainings that may occur on birthdays, anniversaries or other special events. They accept the intrusion into personal lives that Guard service requires — calls at home from subordinates or superiors, paperwork or planning done after supper or on weekends, even regular physical training to keep in shape for military service. It's not easy for those families, but it is deeply appreciated.

I am thankful for those men and women who serve in the Wisconsin National Guard. I am also thankful for those family members who make it possible for our Guard members to serve. You cannot have one without the other.

Thank you for being part of the National Guard family and for your continued support. May you all have a safe, happy and blessed Thanksgiving.


Donald P. Dunbar
Major General
Wisconsin National Guard
The Adjutant General