POTUS served turkey on a plate and then handed plates to troops, wearing fatigues.
Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan
November 28, 2019
9 pm, local time: POTUS entered a dining hall.
POTUS, wearing a blue suit, white shirt and red tie with dark stripes, stood behind a serving counter, next to Milley. Mulvaney, Barrasso and O’Brien were nearby.
POTUS served turkey on a plate and then handed plates to troops, wearing fatigues. He smiled and exchanged pleasantries that your pool could not hear. Signs posted on the serving counter listed calorie counts for the various offerings.
One snippet we did overhear: “You’ll come back,” POTUS told one service member, an apparent reference to the quality of the food.
POTUS then addressed the troops, who were seated at tables. He introduced Barrasso and said he’s been a great friend of the military.
“I guess we’re spent two and half trillion since I’ve been in. That’s a lot of money but we’re rebuilt our military.”
“I’ll be talking to you later but right now I want to have some turkey. I’m going to join you for a little lunch. We’re also going to shake hands with some of the folks. Thank you very much. What a great job you do. It’s an honor to be here.”
“It’s a long flight (people laughed)….But we love it.”
The crowd erupted in applause after he finished speaking, snapping photos with their phones.
POTUS then joined a table of service members, along with Barrasso. He chatted with the group before falling into an animated one-on-one conversation with Barrasso. He had what appeared to be a plate of turkey, mashed potatoes and cornbread.
O’Brien could be seen visiting a separate table of troops and chatting politely, hands clasped behind his back.
POTUS then asked the troops to line up in groups for photos. After he was done, they applauded.
Military personnel said there were about 500 troops in the rooms. Most appeared to have eaten before POTUS arrived. Some empty trays could be seen.
A sign at the door into the building read, “Welcome to North DFAC,” the latter being shorthand military jargon for ‘dining facility.’ Paper turkeys, paper pumpkins and paper leaves decorated the walls. Simple paper streamers and lanterns in red, orange and yellow adorned the ceiling. Three-dimensional trees adorned the serving line. The serving line was in the middle of the room between the tables. A giant American flag hung from the ceiling.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving parade was playing on TV. Entertainment Tonight and a Harry Potter movie were playing on other TVs.