JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA –
Joint Base Charleston leadership and the 628th Force Support Squadron (FSS) hosted a Christmas dinner at the Gaylor Dining Facility here Dec. 25.
Tech. Sgt. Carmen Lewis, 628th FSS dining facility manager, and her team began prepping for this dinner during the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We were getting food in every week,” said Lewis. “We gradually ordered food every week for December. We increased our inventory so by the time we got to this meal, we’re completely ready to go.”
Cooking and final preparations for the meal started Christmas Eve and didn’t finish until early Christmas day. The dining facility team did double duty by serving breakfast while preparing the Christmas dinner.
“Our job is to take care of the Airmen in the dorms,” said Lewis. “They already have to spend their Christmas here, so we try our best to give them the best meals possible. We put as much heart into it as we can.”
Base leadership also joined the members of the dining facility by helping serve the Christmas meal to the Airmen, civilians, families and retirees.
“Doing this holiday dinner is a great experience for Airmen to interact with their leadership, which is why we put out the carving stations,” said Lewis. “It slows down the process so our base leadership can say hello and ask how their Airmen are doing.”
Sacrifices are very common among military members. Since there are Airmen who can’t go home for the holidays, there are others who sacrifice their holidays with their families so they can provide these Airmen a home-cooked meal.
“I had to cancel a holiday trip to Disney World with my family that had been planned for seven months because the previous manager got out of the military,” said Lewis. “Though I am disappointed I had to cancel, I’m happy to have the opportunity to be here for these Airmen and give them a great meal for Christmas.”
Working on Christmas day can be difficult for some, but it contributes to mission success.