As soon as Banned by the Taliban, Kites Mark First Thanksgiving for Afghan Refugees on US Army Base

The Marines added a brand new custom to the previous for the primary Thanksgiving within the U.S. for the Afghan refugees who escaped Taliban rule and now are briefly residing on seven bases nationwide.

At Marine Corps Base Quantico in northern Virginia, the Marines blended a Thanksgiving meal with some arts and crafts for the children, plus kite flying — a nationwide sport in Afghanistan as soon as banned by the Taliban as decadent, in keeping with 2nd Lt. Jasmine Scott, a spokesperson.

Not less than two different bases acted on their very own with the assist of native organizations to offer Thanksgiving festivities for his or her Afghan “visitors,” however there was no central planning for the meals.

After the autumn of Kabul to the Taliban in August and the chaotic evacuation of greater than 124,000 U.S. residents and Afghans, eight navy bases had been designated as momentary shelters for the Afghans whereas they had been vetted, vaccinated and cleared for resettlement in native communities underneath the general supervision of the Division of Homeland Safety.

Learn Subsequent: What Occurred to the Afghanistan Evacuation?

The primary base taking in Afghans was Fort Lee in Virginia, adopted by Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Bliss, Texas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Fort Pickett and Quantico in Virginia; Holloman AFB in New Mexico and Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

Initially, the eight bases housed greater than 60,000 Afghans because the State Division, working with greater than 200 aid teams, sought to resettle them and supply assist in native communities.

On Nov. 17, DHS introduced that the final group of Afghan nationals at Fort Lee had been resettled in Operation Allies Welcome, and about 45,000 remained on the different seven bases.

A spokesperson for the Protection Logistics Company mentioned that DLA Troop Assist, which despatched greater than 192 tons of vacation meals to navy eating amenities, ship galleys and area kitchens within the U.S. and worldwide, didn’t obtain any particular orders for halal meals permitted by Islam for Thanksgiving.

The Army‘s Fort McCoy didn’t have any particular meals or Thanksgiving actions for the Afghans housed on the bottom, a McCoy spokesperson mentioned, however Holloman Air Pressure Base, momentary house to about 3,100 Afghan visitors, went forward with vacation festivities Thursday and Friday.

The actions at Holloman included “instructing children about Thanksgiving and what we have a good time within the U.S. — time with household and thankfulness,” Capt. Allison Kirk, a Holloman spokesperson, mentioned in an emailed assertion to

At Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the bottom — with assist from the U.S. Convention of Catholic Bishops — blended Thanksgiving-themed crafts and flicks into recurrently scheduled programming for youngsters and adults.

Eating amenities at Joint Base MDL additionally served “Halal Thanksgiving dishes alongside common meals as an choice for visitors who need to expertise Thanksgiving meals,” Air Pressure Capt. Sarah Johnson mentioned in an emailed assertion.

— Richard Sisk could be reached at

Associated: Extra Ham, Candy Potatoes and Desserts: The Meals US Troops Will Devour This Thanksgiving

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