By Brad Segall

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – American warfighters spending their Thanksgiving holiday defending our freedom in Afghanistan will have a traditional holiday meal thanks to a defense agency located in the Delaware Valley.

Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support begins preparing Thanksgiving meals six months in advance to make sure they have all their vendors and contractors in place to provide the troops with their holiday meal. That meal includes more than 60,000 pounds of beef, 45,000 pounds of turkey, 28,000 sweet potatoes, 20,000 pounds of stuffing and nearly 6,000 pies.

“I think that even though they are with their comrades,” Customer Operations Manager John Sheehan says, “it’s like being with their second family and a good meal – it contributes to the morale, welfare and recreation of the servicemen and women regardless of where they are stationed.”

Sheehan says being deployed, especially during the holidays, can be tough, but hopes this helps.

“If they can just close their eyes and think about where they want to be, which is obviously with their family, I think having a good meal makes them think back about mom and dad and their brothers and sisters and being at the table with them.”

DLA Troop Support supplies our armed forces with $14-billion annually of food, uniforms and other supplies.

The majority of its employees work out of their Oxford Circle location in northeast Philadelphia.

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