Thanksgiving at the Front

Few Thanksgiving Days have passed without there being Service Members from the United States stationed somewhere around the world, away from family and usually far from home. Missing holidays and special family occasions is a fact of military life. Here are a few pictures from our archives of some of those Thanksgivings from our history.

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Civil War soldiers enjoying a Thanksgiving meal.

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Chaplain Judah Nadich delivers a sermon to American servicemen at a Thanksgiving service in the rue de la Victoire synagogue in Paris, 23 November 1944.

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Men of the US Army Air Corps listen to a sermon on ‘The Source of our Strength’ during a Thanksgiving service at Cransley in Northamptonshire. The sermon is being given by Chaplain Ward J Fellows. Just visible to the left of the pulpit is Reverend Greville-Cooke, the vicar of Cransley, 23 November 1944.

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Chaplain F. McDonald 1944

Chaplain F. McDonald of the 12th Army Special Troops, leads a Thanksgiving prayer for the leaders of the 12th Army in 1944.

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Chaplain Gercke

“Chaplain (Capt.) Henry A. Gereke, U.S. Army, St. Louis, Mo., reads a short sermon to the audience celebrating Thanksgiving day in the court room of the Palace of Justice, Nuernberg, Germany. The audience consisted mostly of Allied representatives to the International military tribunal, which included Francis Biddle, Robert Jackson, and Justice Birkett, representing the U.S. during the trials. 11-22-45. Signal Corps Photo. Please credit. Released by authority of the Bureau of Public Relations or by Theatre Press Censor.”

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Chaplain Riddle Conducts Thanksgiving Day Services in Korea, 23 Nov 50.

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“The hood of a jeep serves as a makeshift altar for Cdr Martin J. Doermann, 12th Marines regimental chaplain, at Gio Linh, south of the Demilitarized Zone, on Thanksgiving Day 1968. Cdr Doermann was among 20 chaplains visiting forward units that holiday.” (DoD photo)

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Chaplain (CPT) Daryl Densford praying before the Thanksgiving meal at Basrah, Iraq, 27 November 2008.

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Chaplain (CPT) Daryl Densford leads a Thanksgiving worship service with American and British Service Members at Camp Basrah, Iraq, 27 November 2008.

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Chaplain Daryl Densford

Chaplain (CPT) Daryl Densford visiting Soldiers of 3-159 ARB at a FARP in eastern Iraq on Thanksgiving weekend in 28 November 2008.

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Lieutenant Commander Paul A. Anderson, a Navy Chaplain and pastor from Perham’s New Creation Lutheran Church, blesses Marines at an outpost in Iraq during a communion service over Thanksgiving weekend, 2008.

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Maj. Gen Vincent Brooks, 1st Infantry Division and United States Division-South Commanding General, Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver, United States Army Chaplain, Lt. Col. Timothy Mallard, 1st Infantry Division and USD-S chaplain and Cpt. Johnvianney Ijeoma, 1st Inf. Div., Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion chaplain recites a hymn at the Post Chapel Thanksgiving worship service Nov. 25, 2010 in Basra, Iraq. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Chanelcherie DeMello, USD-S Public Affairs)

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Soldiers and civilians recite a scripture from the bible at the Post Chapel Thanksgiving worship service Nov. 25, 2010 in Basra, Iraq. The ceremony featured a sermon and testament from guest speaker Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver, United States Army chaplain, in honor of Thanksgiving. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Chanelcherie DeMello, USD-S Public Affairs)

 

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Wherever you are today, whether it’s with your family at home, or with your brothers and sisters in arms somewhere far from home, our prayer and hope for you is that you will have a Happy Thanksgiving with much to thank God for!

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About Daryl Densford

I am an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene serving as an active-duty Army Chaplain. I am currently the Chaplain Resource Manager at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

Posted on 23 November 2017, in Chaplaincy, History and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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