Sen. Justin Brown’s Legislative Column for Nov. 19, 2021

Sharing Thanksgiving Blessings

We’ve all heard the story of the first Thanksgiving, a harvest celebration hosted by Pilgrim settlers and attended by members of a neighboring tribe of Indians. So many of our Thanksgiving traditions are rooted in that feast, held 400 years ago. First and foremost, we give thanks to God for the blessings he has bestowed. Closely following in importance is a grand meal, a testament to the bounty we have received. And finally, we open our hearts and our homes to make room at the table for those who have nowhere else to be on this festive day.

With that in mind, I was struck by information provided by the Public Affairs Office at Fort Leonard Wood. According to an article posted on the base website, the facility expects to serve more than 30,000 Thanksgiving meals on Nov. 25, with feasts planned at 13 dining locations. In addition to meals provided to military and DOD personnel assigned to the base, select dining facilities will cater to retirees, Gold Star families and veterans with access to the installation. The amount of food it will require to feed so many mouths is staggering. A food program manager quoted in the story said they will serve 8,000 pounds of turkey, 2,000 pounds of prime rib and 1,500 pounds of shrimp. The dessert menu will include 3,000 assorted pies and cakes.

It’s an impressive shopping list and one that makes our own trip to the grocery store seem much less daunting. But what really hit home to me was the realization that there were so many men and women in our midst who will spend their holiday far from home. I am thankful these dedicated individuals will not spend their Thanksgiving in a war zone, but I also understand that Missouri probably seems like a lonely place when you are far away from the people you love. I’m pleased that the military is making every effort to bring a little taste of home to soldiers while they fulfill their duties at Fort Leonard Wood.

I hope we all keep these faithful warriors in mind as we set down for our own holiday celebration. And let’s all remember there are many other people in our community who have no place to go for Thanksgiving. If possible, please consider welcoming someone to your table. I trust you both will get a blessing for your kindness.

I hope everyone has a bountiful and joyous Thanksgiving holiday. We have so much to be thankful for, so let’s take the opportunity to thank God for his favor and celebrate all the blessings he has bestowed. Happy Thanksgiving.

It’s my honor to serve as your senator for the 16th District. If you have questions or need any assistance, please call my office at 573-751-5713 or log onto my webpage at for more information.