MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
With the holiday season upon the Marines and Sailors of Cherry Point, one can practically smell Mom’s Christmas turkey roasting.
Military service comes with sacrifices, and some service members will not make it home for the holidays.
The food service specialists at the air station mess hall will work tirelessly to make sure all patrons have a great holiday experience, said Sgt. Aaron Sansaricq, a food service specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274. Just because Marines are away from home does not mean they can’t have a small taste of home.
“We put our hearts and our souls into making sure everybody who comes has a great holiday meal,” said Sansaricq.
Sgt. Maria Marques, a food service specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, said the meal will have a festive feel to it.
“My house is decorated because it makes you feel at home,” Marques said. “Why shouldn’t the chow hall be decorated?”
Marques also expects the holiday feast to bring a sense of community to the Marines and Sailors who can’t make it home for the holidays.
“It’s nice to get together, so Marines will see they aren’t the only ones who can’t go home,” Marques said.
Many service members experience depression around the holidays when they can’t go home, said Marques. Enjoying a great meal in a cheery place can help.
Holiday meals such as this are planned weeks in advance, according to Sgt. Christopher Stewart, a food service specialist with H&HS. The chow hall makes sure they have all the ingredients they need at least a week in advance, and start preparing some items up to three days in advance.
Stewart said his dedication and passion for the job are what drives him to want to present the best food he can every day. He said he tries to improve every dish he makes.
It’s the kind of dedication to the Marine Corps family that can help ease the burden for Marines unable to go home for the holidays.