That's great. I did the same thing whenever a family member or friend was deployed. First my dad, then my friend Darryl, then Ray...it goes on. Now there will be an empty place setting at my family's table for me!
Other traditions revolve more around football and beer.
If you live in a military town, another nice thing to do is to invite a young service member to join you for Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes these guys/gals can't get the time off to go home, or can't afford it. This was done for me once when I was at Fort Benning, and I am eternally grateful for it.