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Arraf: Thanksgiving in Baghdad

Jane Arraf with Sgt. Charles Green in Baghdad
Jane Arraf with Sgt. Charles Green in Baghdad

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Jane Arraf

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- As families in the United States gathered around the table for Thanksgiving, troops in Iraq also gathered -- in dining halls -- to enjoy turkey in a far from ordinary holiday feast.

CNN Correspondent Jane Arraf visited with troops during their Thanksgiving meal in Baghdad, and spoke to a sergeant who took a break between turkey servings.

ARRAF: There is an awful lot of turkey and everything else here. This is the home of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, a regiment with a long tradition going back to 1836, and here they're carrying on an American tradition -- Thanksgiving tradition, which includes ... shrimp cocktail and ... turkey, glazed ham, ham hocks, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes -- and it just goes on and on.

To give us a review of this meal, Sergeant Charles Green from Tallahassee, Florida. Sergeant, your mom, Shirley, from Tallahassee, is watching this. How does this compare with your normal Thanksgiving dinner?

GREEN: Well, you know, it's a good thing to be here [with] people you trust and work with. But it's not that much different from home, you know, just besides being away from the people that you love.

ARRAF: How is this mission going for you? This is a pretty tough place to be?

GREEN: Yes, it is. But we've got a great command, you know, and we maintain.

ARRAF: But tell us about the turkey. How is the turkey?

GREEN: Oh, the turkey was great. I had like four pieces already. I think I'm going to go up for a little more.

ARRAF: Sergeant Green [is] one of about 3,000 people who have come through this dining facility, one of the biggest in Iraq to take part in the special Thanksgiving meal and they'll have a chance later on to watch some football, call home again, and do a few things that soldiers don't normally get to do.

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