HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WVEC) -- A little more than 73,000 sailors will be spending this Thanksgiving away from their families overseas.

Right now the Navy tells 13News Now 43 ships are deployed, 16 are from Norfolk. To make sure sailors can participate in Thanksgiving, the Navy prepares a big feast.

That meal includes:

  • 4,950 pound of turkey
  • 1,050 pounds of ham
  • 1,200 pounds of beef tenderloin
  • 7,000 portions of mashed potatoes
  • 400 pies
  • 200 cheesecakes

Petty Officer Javonnie Beall is a part of the culinary crew aboard the USS George H.W. Bush. She takes pride in feeding fellow sailors, especially during the holidays.

"It's important to have that home-away-from home-type feeling. So we try to give back to the crew and boost their morale," said Beall.

Petty Officer First Class Angela Alston is also on the USS Bush. Although not deployed yet, she knows what it's like to be away from family. She's been in the Navy for more than 13 years, and has missed around six or seven big holidays. This year, she and her family will get to spend Thanksgiving together.

"It's tough sometimes, you try to work out a pre-arrangement with your families, and your kids just to explain to them, hey this is why I'm not home, this is when I will be home, this is when we'll celebrate whatever the occasion may be," Alston said.