Community participation in Mission Thanksgiving canceled amid COVID-19 concerns Published Oct. 20, 2021 By Tish Williamson, U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence Public Affairs JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- For the second year in a row, community participation in a program that connects Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Soldiers with volunteer hosts for Thanksgiving is canceled. “Mission Thanksgiving,” a program where the San Antonio community generously opens their homes to provide home-cooked Thanksgiving meals for Soldiers in medical training at the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, or MEDCoE, is canceled this November, as it was in 2020, amid concerns of community spread of COVID-19. "We were really looking forward to inviting the community back this year," said Maj. Gen. Dennis LeMaster, the MEDCoE commanding general. "Unfortunately, the risk of COVID-19 spread for our trainees is still at an unacceptable level." He says that everyone is looking forward to putting COVID behind them in the near future so worthwhile community events like Mission Thanksgiving may resume. “I thank all of those who were willing to host Soldiers this year, and I hope we can connect you with some of our well-deserving Soldiers next year,” the general added. Mission Thanksgiving has been an Army tradition at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston for more than 20 years. Though community members cannot participate this year, they can tune in to MEDCoE social media to watch unit-hosted Soldier festivities. For more information, visit the MEDCoE Mission Thanksgiving webpage at https://medcoe.army.mil/mission-thanksgiving.