The chow halls on the Army facilities, which is where I'm located, serve the food on plastic plates and we use plastic silverware. Not the most luxurious, but it gets the job done...and it cuts down on workers having to wash and clean dishes and silverware.
Recently some buddies and I figured out that the Air Force dining facility serves their food on REAL plates and have real "metal" silverware. WOW!!! What a treat! So recently we've started a weekly endeavor of hopping into "War Pig" and making the 15 minute trip to the Air Force chow hall. We like to call it, "eating out". The Air Force facility is essentially the same as the Army facilities...but in our minds...much nicer. One advantage, besides the silverware and plates is the fact you don't have to negotiate around tanks, armored vehicles and Stryker vehicles to get to the front door. It is also a cleaner facility. Not that ours is dirty...but the Air Force one is "spic and span". This is primarily due to the fact that they don't have hundreds of Soldiers who have just returned from patrols and missions coated in Iraq dirt and sand eating there. Not that sitting next to a young Soldier who is coated in dirt with "gun blast grease" coating his hands and face bothers me...sometimes over here, it's just nice to have a "fancy-pants" dinner. In fact it gives me some consolation to have that young Soldier sitting next to me. I know that he has survived another day doing the "dirty work" that alot of people make ill conceived decisions about. Ill conceived may not be the best description...maybe "unknowledgable" is the best word to use here. Unfortunately for that young man or woman in the chow hall...they don't have the luxury of making decisions for their work description/operations. But as it is in alot of work environments; the people doing the "real work" aren't the same ones dictating the "how-to" or the "how come". Life trudges on...I hope I see many more greasy, dirty Soldiers sitting next to me over the upcoming months...especially the SAME faces.
I posted a picture of yours truly in front of one of my work locations. I feel like I've come full-circle in my military career; from being a former enlisted Marine, a Navy pilot and now, wearing a combat uniform in Iraq. You'll notice that I'm wearing my "side arm" or pistol. Maybe it will stay holstered for awhile.
R, K and G, I love and miss you! Could really use some grilled salmon right now.