Over 400 people sit down to foster connections at Naval Station Mayport Thanksgiving feast

Sailors — both active and finished with their service — sat down for an enjoyable meal to celebrate Thanksgiving and embrace connections.

The aroma of an awesome meal and the lure of spending time with other members of the military family drew more than 400 people to Naval Station Mayport for a Thanksgiving feast hosted by the Oasis Galley.

Public Affairs for Mayport called it the Super Bowl of meals as Galley staff and volunteers served up a holiday delight.

‘It’s important to give back to the families for all their sacrifices and hard work.”

Wayne Hagler retired from the Navy 43 years ago. He said the event meant everything to him.

“It’s just a great time for family and friends who have been together around the holidays and to be thankful for the country and everything,” Hagler said.

Beyond the full plates and great tastes, Mayport’s Commanding Officer Brian Binder said there’s something very special about the blend of brand new sailors sitting for a meal with seasoned veterans and families who need the embrace. That’s especially true if a member of the family is forward deployed.

“I was always on shift so we always have a Thanksgiving meal but the families were not included like it is here,” Hagler said.

Binder said it was a sight to see.

“It’s just awesome to see. It’s our active duty, some folks from all 50 states. Our youngest sailors here eating with us, and then our retirees as well, like what a great combination to just celebrate a meal together,” Binder said.

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