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‘An extension of my actual family’: Sailors treated to Thanksgiving feast at NS Mayport

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Naval Station Mayport served up Thanksgiving meals for sailors, veterans and their families Thursday, bringing holiday cheer to our men and women in uniform.

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Turkey, ham and mashed potatoes.

There was no shortage of all the Thanksgiving staples in the Oasis Gallery at Naval Station Mayport Thursday afternoon, ensuring sailors like Zac Cicoria got a taste of the holidays.

This year was Cicoria’s first holiday without his family.

“You know the food here is really good and most of the people here are nice and actually, you know, offer to hang out with you and make sure you feel like you’re at home,” said Cicoria.

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Chief Warrant Officer Stewart Spencer is the man behind the feast.

“This is an extension of my actual family,” said Spencer.

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Spencer has been in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner for three years running.

This year he told us 120lbs of ham and 400lbs of turkey went into the meal, which fed about 320 people.

“So, we actually started about two days ago, getting the turkeys brined, and then yesterday we did most of our prep and then this morning we started around six o’clock finishing off everything,” said Spencer.

By his side throughout the day, his daughter A’Nya Spencer, who told us she was just thankful she got to spend the holiday with her dad.

“I enjoy helping my dad out and spending time. It’s like bonding time for me with him, so I enjoy it. I love it,” said A’Nya.

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Chief Warrant Officer Spencer told us he does get to enjoy the fruits of his labor once the meal ends, but he was mostly looking forward to watching football to cap off the holiday.