Here's what Thanksgiving looked like for US troops at the southern border

U.S. Army soldiers deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border serve a Thanksgiving meal to fellow troops at a base near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge on November 22, 2018 in Donna, Texas. Culinary specialists prepared 34 Turkeys along with a full Thanksgiving buffet for the hundreds of troops stationed between Donna and Weslaco, Texas.U.S. Army soldiers deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border serve a Thanksgiving meal to fellow troops at a base near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge on November 22, 2018 in Donna, Texas. Culinary specialists prepared 34 Turkeys along with a full Thanksgiving buffet for the hundreds of troops stationed between Donna and Weslaco, Texas.Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

  • The Department of Defense delivered thousands of pounds of traditional Thanksgiving food to deployed units.
  • Thanksgiving was a "light-duty day" for US troops at the US-Mexico border, a reprieve after weeks of running razor wire and erecting barriers.
  • The US military personnel deployed to the border are at the center of a heated debate over immigration, as they were sent to help Customs and Border Protection secure the southern border as migrant caravans approach.

Thousands of US troops spent the Thanksgiving holiday not with their families but at the US-Mexico border, where they are awaiting the arrival of migrant caravans alongside the border patrol personnel they were deployed to support and, if necessary, defend.

The Pentagon provided Thanksgiving meals to American troops at the border, as well as those abroad in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world.

These 12 photos show what the holiday looked like for some of the US troops at the border.
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The Department of Defense sent more than 300,000 pounds of traditional Thanksgiving food to American troops serving overseas and at the southern border, the Pentagon revealed Monday.

The Department of Defense sent more than 300,000 pounds of traditional Thanksgiving food to American troops serving overseas and at the southern border, the Pentagon revealed Monday.

"Many of America's military men and women are away from home this Thanksgiving, making sacrifices to secure our freedom and to protect our southern border," Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support commander, said in a statement.

"Many of America's military men and women are away from home this Thanksgiving, making sacrifices to secure our freedom and to protect our southern border," Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support commander, said in a statement.

"The DLA Troop Support staff and I are excited about this amazing opportunity to provide them the very best Thanksgiving meal our country has to offer," he said.

Source: CNN

51,234 pounds of roasted turkey, 16,284 pounds of sweet potatoes, 81,360 pies, 19,284 cakes and 7,836 gallons of eggnog were sent to 270 dining facilities serving US military personnel.

51,234 pounds of roasted turkey, 16,284 pounds of sweet potatoes, 81,360 pies, 19,284 cakes and 7,836 gallons of eggnog were sent to 270 dining facilities serving US military personnel.

Source: The Washington Post, The Hill

Nearly 800 pounds of turkey was delivered to US troops serving along the southern border in Texas.

Nearly 800 pounds of turkey was delivered to US troops serving along the southern border in Texas.

Source: The Washington Post

Thursday was a "light-duty day" for troops at the border, US Army North told reporters, explaining that the deployed military personnel would be doing little to no work during the holiday.

Thursday was a "light-duty day" for troops at the border, US Army North told reporters, explaining that the deployed military personnel would be doing little to no work during the holiday.

Source: The Washington Post

There are an estimated 5,800 active-duty troops currently serving at the US-Mexico border. This is in addition to the 2,100 National Guard troops who were deployed to the border in April.

There are an estimated 5,800 active-duty troops currently serving at the US-Mexico border. This is in addition to the 2,100 National Guard troops who were deployed to the border in April.

The newest arrivals were deployed to the border late last month in response to White House pressure.

The newest arrivals were deployed to the border late last month in response to White House pressure.

Troops from across the country were sent to support Customs and Border Protection officials as they prepare for the impending arrival of caravans consisting of thousands of migrants from across Latin America determined to enter the US. The Trump administration sent the US military to help harden and secure the southern border.

Critics of the deployment of troops to border areas in Texas, Arizona, and California have called it a political stunt, but Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have rejected such accusations, insisting that the approaching migrant caravans are a threat to US national security.

Critics of the deployment of troops to border areas in Texas, Arizona, and California have called it a political stunt, but Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have rejected such accusations, insisting that the approaching migrant caravans are a threat to US national security.

Some observers have expressed disappointment that the US military personnel deployed to the southern border were not allowed to go home for Thanksgiving.

"These are tough people," President Trump said earlier this week, explaining, "They know what they’re doing and they’re great, and they’ve done a great job. You’re so worried about the Thanksgiving holiday for them. They are so proud to be representing our country on the border."

"These are tough people," President Trump said earlier this week, explaining, "They know what they’re doing and they’re great, and they’ve done a great job. You’re so worried about the Thanksgiving holiday for them. They are so proud to be representing our country on the border."

Source: Task & Purpose

The deployment is expected to last until December 15, but there is a possibility that it could be extended.

The deployment is expected to last until December 15, but there is a possibility that it could be extended.

Mattis said Wednesday that some US troops may be spending Christmas as the border.

Source: Task & Purpose

For weeks, the military has been tasked with erecting barriers at the border.

For weeks, the military has been tasked with erecting barriers at the border.

Troops ran miles and miles of razor wire with no clarity on what the mission, previously known as "Operation Faithful Patriot" but later downgraded to "border support," would look like going forward.

The White House on Wednesday authorized US troops to take protective measures, including the use of lethal force, to defend border patrol officials from violence, expanding the mission from support to security.

Source: Business Insider

"If they have to, they're going to use lethal force," Trump said Thursday.

"If they have to, they're going to use lethal force," Trump said Thursday.

Mattis explained the day before that there has been no request for lethal force, that troops would not be armed, and that the military was not there to kill migrants. "Relax. Don't worry about it," he told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday.

Source: Voice of America, Task & Purpose

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