YOKOSUKA, Japan – Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) celebrated Thanksgiving with a special feast Nov. 22.
George Washington Sailors, who live across the world from their families and friends, had the opportunity to spend this Thanksgiving with a different type of family, each other.
“All of the Sailors in my division are my extended family,” said Aviation Ordnance 1st Class Desmond Stone, from Roanoke, Va. “We’re always together during the holidays and we enjoy a lot of special events together.”
George Washington’s supply department served a traditional Thanksgiving meal to celebrate the holiday and raise the crew’s spirits.
“The Thanksgiving meal is for our shipmates who are on duty and for single Sailors who are away from home,” said Chief Culinary Specialist Anthony Nicolas, from San Francisco.
The variety of food served took the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier’s culinary specialists more than five hours to prepare, but the time spent was well worth the effort when Sailors sat down to eat with smiles.
“It’s normal for us to cook for about 5,000 Sailors while on patrol,” said Nicolas. “During this celebration, we ensured the food looked and tasted great so our Sailors could enjoy it.”
“We normally take a break and just clean up after breakfast, but today we rolled right into preparing the feast,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Amber Shaw, from Watertown, N.Y. “I put out cheesecake, made several pies and baked brownies for the crew’s enjoyment.”
Sailors thought about being with their families and the importance of being forward deployed and stationed overseas.
“The food we served reminded me of home,” said Shaw. “When I ate the meal it was like having home with me.”
Sailors not only enjoyed the company of shipmates, but enjoyed the once a year feast.
“The food was amazing! Everything from the way it was spiced to the presentation of it was nothing short of excellence,” said Stone. “The culinary specialists did their job extremely well today.”
“I could tell the food made Sailors happy,” said Nicolas. “I could see smiles on their faces when they first saw the spread we had for them.”
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, returned Nov. 20 from their 2012 patrol protecting and defending the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific region.