While most employers are able to close their doors and give everyone the day off for Thanksgiving, the United States Coast Guard Station Destin doesn't have that luxury.
With the safety and protection of our coastal waters in their hands, the Coast Guard operates 24-hours a day, 365-days a year. They are, however, able to make things pretty comfortable for the men and women on duty on the holidays.
Station chef Natalie Berdan prepared all the traditional Turkey-Day delights — turkey, spiral ham, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, pumpkin bisque and fresh rolls. And don't expect to find Stove Top boxes, instant mashed potatoes or packaged rolls in Berdan's kitchen.
"I'm really big on making all of our bread from scratch here," Berdan told The Log. "Everything is from scratch."
For the football fans on duty, the Coast Guard station has a mini theater with a projection screen television and leather chairs. The theater serves as a nice break from the often-stressful duties of a Coast Guard, Boatswain Mate 1st Class Eric Donovan told The Log.
Aside from the big meal, though, Thanksgiving was much like any other Thursday. The schedule rotation turned as usual. Servicemen and women reported for duty and monitored the waters of Choctawhatchee Bay, the connecting bayous and the Gulf of Mexico from Inlet Beach to Navarre Bridge, out to 50 miles from the coast.
While the job entails holidays on duty, immense responsibility and occasional danger, it also has its perks.
"You wake, go take a boat out on the water and then you get paid for it. It's good days," Donovan said.