Lunch to go, please. For 4,000
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2001 Preparing box lunches for thousands of troops supporting the presidential inaugural was a Herculean task for Carolyn Johnson, manager of the In-Flight Kitchen here at this sprawling air force base in southern Maryland.
"We do this every four years, but it was more difficult this time because we had so many lunches to make," Johnson noted. All told the crew put together 4,611 meals.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Chad Woods, a yeoman at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, stacks box lunches for troops supporting the presidential inaugural. Photo by Rudi Williams
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Johnson and her crew made 216 breakfast sandwiches on Jan. 9. On Jan. 12, the crew made 2,161 lunches to feed service members participating in the Inaugural rehearsal Jan. 14. On Jan. 18, the crew put together 2,234 lunches to feed the troops on Inauguration day.
"We had to work around the clock to get the job done," Johnson noted.
"We had troops from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard helping us," Johnson said. "That really lightened the burden on us."
"I think this is a good meal for the troops," said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles Mapp, as he placed turkey sandwiches into plastic lunch boxes. The lunch also included potato salad, marinated mixed vegetables, cookies, fruit and water.
"It's good to see members of the different forces working together to help the troops who are supporting the inaugural," said Mapp, a mess management specialist at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indian Head, Md.
Navy Reservist Petty Officer 3rd Class Robin N. Struble, volunteered to come to Washington to help with the inaugural, "for the adventure." A storekeeper at the Naval Reserve Center, Horseheads, N.Y., Struble said, "They told us we were going to be doing headcount, but, instead, I'm packing lunches."
Petty Officer 3rd Class Chad Woods, a yeoman at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, said, "I'm glad to help out because it's a good thing to help feed the guys."
The Marine dining facility at Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., also helped out by serving breakfast to more than 300 troops per day. The Army dining facility at Fort Myer, Va., also served breakfast and lunch to hundreds of troops participating in Inaugural festivities.