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FORT MEADE, Md. (WJZ) — Hundreds of active duty service members at Thanksgiving dinner on base as many cannot make it home to be with family.

The command staff at Fort Meade wanted to make sure these men and women had the traditional turkey and ham dinners with all the fixings but the contract Manager for the Food Service Staff, Melba Taylor, said they like to sprinkle in a few surprises.

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“We have steak, we have lobster tail, we have shrimp and we have an assortment of desserts. A;most every dessert you can imagine,” Taylor said.

After 19 years of serving this meal to the men and women in uniform, Taylor said she would not miss the opportunity.

“It’s just an honor to serve those who serve us,” Taylor said. “These young people are my son’s age and to see the joy on their faces and give them hope, it makes them a little more joyful.”

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Kourtney Nunnery, a Private First Class in the Army is away from her family in Fayetteville for training. “I really appreciate that they came out and made us really good food,” Nunnery said. She has the day off from her duties and hopes to hang with friends who have become more like family.”

I heard the bowling alley is open so I might go bowling but other than that I’ll just be relaxing because it’s been a stressful few weeks,” Nunnery added.

Derick Fennell is also a Private First Class in the Army.  “This is the first time being away from my family during Thanksgiving,” he said. “They made all the traditional food that my mom would make and I’m going to tell her when I FaceTime her like ‘look they got cheesecake, they got macaroni, they got it all.’”

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Fennell said he has also made friends that are his fill-in family while he’s away from home. “We don’t have our families but we’re kind of a family, so it’s a new tradition with them to laugh, and chuckle, watch movies and I think it’ll be a nice change of pace,” Fennell added.  “With them putting this all together for Thanksgiving, I really appreciate it.”

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