Annual Thanksgiving tradition for Lackland trainees returns in modified format

  • Published
  • By Annette Crawford
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Operation Home Cooking tradition is returning this Thanksgiving, although not as expansive as in years past. The event will be open only to Department of Defense ID card holders living in the San Antonio metropolitan area. There is a need for approximately 375 hosts; this year’s participants will be trainees assigned to the 321st and 322nd Training Squadrons – not all BMT personnel.

In addition to being DoD ID card holders and living in the San Antonio metropolitan area, sponsors must be fully vaccinated. The vaccine card must be presented to BMT personnel at time of pick-up; photos or copies will not be accepted.

Family members who are DoD ID card holders residing in the San Antonio metropolitan area may submit a “By Name Request” for a specific BMT member. Family members are defined as Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent or Spouse. All “By Name Requests” must include the flight number of the BMT member in training and are subject to the approval of the BMT member. (Please note that families and guests who are approved to attend the graduation ceremony of the 322nd TRS on Nov. 24 are authorized and already cleared to sponsor their Airman for Thanksgiving. No email request is required.)

Volunteer sponsors must be willing to accept two BMT members into their home to support BMT’s Wingman Concept. Sponsors should also identify any special dietary needs of their household when they volunteer – such as vegetarian/vegan – so BMT members can be paired accordingly.

In addition, volunteers must provide transportation from Lackland to the sponsor’s house, and return them to their squadron at Lackland. Pick-up time from BMT is 7 to 10 a.m. The curfew time for return is 6 p.m. for the 322nd TRS (graduating squadron) and 7 p.m. for the 321st TRS.

Remember to plan for holiday traffic when returning to BMT, since curfews are driven by squadron mission requirements. Complete details and instructions will be provided with the confirmation email once the volunteer request is approved.

Requests to sponsor a BMT member for Thanksgiving can be made beginning Monday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Nov. 19. Send your email request to BOTH and Include the following information:

SUBJECT: Operation Home Cooking
Last Name, First Name
Address with Zip Code
Phone Number
Branch of Service
DoD ID Number
(If submitting a By-Name Request, List Name and Flight Number.)

Operation Home Cooking began in 1975 when base chaplains teamed up with San Antonio churches to sponsor basic military training and technical school students. When participation in the program began to grow, Operation Home Cooking focused solely on basic military trainees.