DLA delivers Christmas cheer to deployed service members

By Michael Tuttle, Troop Support

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Service members deployed this Christmas will still enjoy a traditional holiday meal with all the trimmings, thanks to Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

More than 72,720 pounds of turkey and 331 gallons of nonalcoholic eggnog have been provided in time for troops in Afghanistan to enjoy their holiday meals.

“Wherever our nation’s military are serving around the world, DLA Troop Support is committed to providing quality, nutritious and delicious meals to them,” said Anthony Amendolia, a customer relationship specialist with DLA Troop Support’s Subsistence supply chain. “If they can’t be home for the holidays, we’ll bring the holidays to them.”

The combined amounts of food provided through DLA Troop Support for service members deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait include:

• 118,060 pounds of turkey
• 34,370 pounds of beef
• 23,100 pounds of ham
• 781.5 gallons of eggnog
• 4,320 pounds of marshmallows
• 12,052 cases of sparkling cocktail juice
• 28,224 pounds of shrimp
• 2,712 pies (sweet potato, pumpkin and more)

Subsistence employees also had to work around the avian flu outbreak in the U.S., which caused foreign countries to place restrictions on the importation of poultry and poultry-related products.

“Countries set different parameters causing us to take atypical approaches to meet all needs, such as buying from foreign approved sources and use of more pre-cooked poultry,” said Rich Faso, Subsistence director of customer operations.

Subsistence employees began gathering holiday meal requirements from the military services in May so that they could order and transport the food in time. They’re already working to ensure service members will be able to celebrate other important events in the near future, including the Super Bowl, Easter and Passover, Amendolia said.

“While we try to ensure our military members get a great meal every time they go to the dining facility, we’re committed to making sure they’re not forgotten during those key holidays,” Amendolia said.