Military life is based, in many ways, upon long standing tradition. Much of day to day life is based on traditions going back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Now, I'm not talking about the wearing of uniforms, or the saluting of officers and all of that, I mean the important stuff that you would do just the same if it hadn't been drilled into you in basic training.
Military people complain. A lot. Bitch, bitch, bitch, it's all we do - after all, we're keeping up a tradition...
We're not really picky about complaining, but one of our favorite gripes is about the food. It's not that the food is 'bad' (although I have eaten at Army bases where the food was, ummm... less than appetizing) but, let's just say that the meals weren't quite like Mom's - at least my Mom's.
When I arrived in Doha, tent city was less than a week old and our food was provided from a trailer type military field kitchen - in general, we had a hot meal every day. Meals usually consisted of hamburgers, or something that could be relatively easily cooked over a fire. The food really wasn't bad considering what we had to work with - especially considering that it was prepared by the few services people we had - and anyone else who volunteered to help.
We were told that the field kitchen was a short-term solution and that in the future we'd get a full deployed 'dining facility' (chow hall) - although no one really knew when. After all, in the great airlift scheme of things, there were much higher priorities than the decadent luxury of Air Force food for a bunch of guys (and girls) deployed from Spain.
A visit from General Horner, the CENTAF Commander, changed that. When he heard that we were without a permanent dining facility, apparently one of the few deployed AF units in such a situation, he assured us that one was on the way - and quickly. Within a few days we had our chow hall (it's amazing what a few stars can accomplish...) Over the next few days (with everyone eagerly watching) the new facility was set up. It consisted of a series of interconnected tents and refrigerated trailers for food storage, preparation, and a good sized dining area. Having the chow hall raised the overall morale quite a bit, it provided a bit of 'normalcy', in what was still a pretty abnormal world.
Ahhh, the sheer exuberance of it all. Now we could have our fried SPAM and powered eggs for breakfast, just like everybody else. Great. Just give me another damn MRE and a bottle of water.
These are 'unedited' chapters that I'm posting as I write. Some day I'll work them all in together...