Giving Thanks from Far Away

11881-4 cover

Unfortunately being in the armed forces means that, sometimes, you need to be away from the people and places most important to you on special days like Thanksgiving.  While this is undoubtedly hard, our military has tried to soften the blow on homesick soldiers by offering comfort and familiarity through the great common denominator of Thanksgiving–the meal.

The three Thanksgiving menus below are strikingly similar in their offerings and rely on the basic comfort foods of the holiday that are familiar to most.   In fact, even though the earliest menu is from over 90 years ago, I would bet that many of you reading this today will see similar items on your Thanksgiving table.

I’m glad that the soldiers who were serving when these menus were printed were able to have the comfort of familiar food on Thanksgiving even if they didn’t have the comforts of home.   Here’s hoping those currently serving will enjoy similarly satisfying feasts.

The interior to the above 1917 Thanksgiving menu. This was collected by Roy Frank Watson of Nebraska who served in the 5th Nebraska Infantry in World War I and was stationed at Camp Cody, New Mexico before being stationed in France and Germany.

The interior to the above 1917 Thanksgiving menu. This was collected by Roy Frank Watson of Nebraska who served in the 5th Nebraska Infantry in World War I and was stationed at Camp Cody, New Mexico before being stationed in France and Germany.

Menu cover from 1925 Thanksgiving meal held at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.

Menu cover from 1925 Thanksgiving meal held at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.

Interior of 1925 Fort Robinson menu

Interior of 1925 Fort Robinson menu

1943 Thanksgiving Menu from the Army Air Base in Kearney, Nebraska
1943 Thanksgiving Menu from the Army Air Base in Kearney, Nebraska
–Deb Arenz, Senior Museum Curator
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