JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As folks wrap up their Thanksgiving meals, military members at Naval Station Mayport had a chance to take a break and enjoy a meal of their own.

“Thanksgiving is one of those special holidays and a lot of sailors don’t get a chance to go home, so they come here,” food service officer Michael Carter said.

Prior to being stationed at Mayport, he cooked for President Obama and the First Family. An experience he said wasn’t like anything else in his 29-year career.

The menu this Thanksgiving, Carter said, is to give comfort for those who serve and their loved ones.

“We’re making our own traditions with our family and got two healthy kids and that’s all we’re thankful for this year,” one servicewoman said.

Carter said that is why it’s important his team delivers on a quality meal.

“We got in here at 5:30 a.m. this morning and we knew what we had to do, so here we are,” Carter said.

He added that it takes about a year to plan for the feast, so as soon as clean-up wraps, the base will start planning for 2020.