For the past 15 years, a cadre and staff of the UNM Air Force ROTC have been preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinner to their students who can't be home for the holiday. This year is no exception. This annual Thanksgiving dinner is Friday, Nov. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Air Force ROTC Detachment.

Theresa Carabajal, an administrative assistant, has been with the department for the last 23 years and will retire in January 2012. She has participated in this event every year. While the AFROTC commander has generally been in charge of the making the turkey, Carabajal definitely has an important part.

"For most of the years we've done this I've made 30 pounds of homemade mashed potatoes and gravy," she says.

Luckily, the AFROTC staff divide up the responsibility of bringing in the food in for the students. While this will be the last time that Carabajal will with the meal, she hopes that the tradition will continue into the future.

"The smiles it brings warm our hearts. These students are like our kids and the effort is nothing—especially considering that most of them will sacrifice much more during their career in the U.S. Air Force."

For more information about the dinner e-mail Elizabeth Hofmann-Yslas