A Gulfport detective was excused from duty Thursday morning to spend time with his family.
Chris Ryle missed last year's Thanksgiving, but not because of detective work.
The 33 year-old Coast Guard reservist was deployed to Kuwait for the holiday.
Detective Chris Ryle spends a lot of time at his desk, scribbling notes and chasing down leads.
Ryle's corner cubicle has no pictures from his seven month deployment to Kuwait.
Those memories are locked away in his mind.
"You know it was just tough being away from home. But that's what we signed up to do, so we just had to deal with the situation," said Ryle.
And what a situation the Coast Guard reservist faced.
"When you're averaging 140 degrees a day with about 95% humidity wearing all your gear, it's hot. Hot and lonely," said Ryle.
Ryle left a wife and two daughters back in Gulfport.
Last Thanksgiving was the first Thanksgiving they weren't together.
To Ryle's surprise, the holiday wasn't a disaster.
[025000-025811] Chris Ryle:
"But we didn't have it too bad. We had a very good Thanksgiving meal. Actually an excellent Thanksgiving meal." said Ryle.
That's because the military whipped up the feast.
[031820-033417] Chris Ryle:
"You know they had the usual, the turkey, the ham, the yams, they actually had steak. I think they had lobster, shrimp, a dessert bar, all the sides. It was more than I expected," said Ryle.
Because he was in Kuwait, Ryle missed last year's turkey give away at the Gulfport police station.
So the detective was at the front of the line to pick up this year's bird.
The turkey will actually be a post holiday meal.
Family tradition requires Ryle to eat gumbo on Thanksgiving Day.