FORT KNOX, Ky. (WHAS11) -- They had appetites built like Fort Knox and a fulfilling reminder of why they serve.
Hundreds of Kentucky soldiers are spending Thanksgiving on post this year. If only for a few hours, these busy soldiers stood at ease for a special meal served by their superiors.
"Thanksgiving is always a great time to give thanks and reflect on the year, on the things we're thankful for as a community, as an army and as a nation," Colonel TJ Edwards, the Fort Knox Garrison Commander, said.
With a spoonful of dressing and a plateful of shrimp, a dinner like this gets dished out only a few times a year.
"They bring in only the best food," Edwards said.
"We have 600 pounds of beef, and over a thousand pounds worth of ham and turkey," Antwane Cross, the dining facility manager, said.
Close to a thousand soldiers and their families took time out of their Wednesday afternoon to enjoy a meal worth tasting, at a cost far less than the one these soldiers pay every day.
"As a soldier, you're used to hardships and used to be being away from family," Edwards said.
George Brooks has spent the holidays away from family for the last three years. But in that time, he's adopted a new family.
"We're all brothers and sisters in arms. We put the uniform on every day. We're the same people. We just have to put our differences aside and work together as a team," Brooks said.
On a day like this one, it's a team effort to keep the line moving.
"You'll see several of Fort Knox's key leadership feeding their troopers today, which is also kind of neat," Edwards said.
"They come out and serve the soldiers and say, 'hey, we do care about you. We appreciate you,' and at the same time, extending that holiday greeting," Cross said.
It's a day of thanks to the ones who serve both overseas and in rare instances, behind the counter.
"I'm thankful for what we have every single day. You never take anything for granted in life and having the opportunity to come out here and thank our soldiers and their families for their service to the country, there's nothing more important," Major General Jeff Smith, the Fort Knox Commanding General said.
Among Wednesday's guests were soldiers with the Third Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division. More than 200 returned home a week ago, just in time for the holidays.