CAMP RIPLEY, MN, UNITED STATES
Story by Staff Sgt. Adam Decker
The team of 12 food service specialists and rotating extra-duty Soldiers, headquartered out of Glen Burnie, Maryland, has provided daily cooked breakfast and dinner meals in the field for more than 400 Soldiers during Combat Support Training Exercise 02-18, which is scheduled to end Aug. 23.
“Today we’re serving breakfast for all of the Soldiers,” said Army Spc. Halayla Vega, a food service specialist with the 611th Quartermaster Company. “We get up at 3 a.m. every morning and try to prepare as much as we can so that we’re not backed up while they’re coming through.”
The 611th food service specialists also provide meals to those unable to make it in to the field kitchen, due to mission and training constraints. They provide take-out plates and deliver meals directly to them, as part of their daily tasks.
“A good nutritious meal boosts the morale when their used to just eating MREs,” said Spc. David M. Cayten, a food service specialist with the 611th Quartermaster Company. “When they come in here and get something that’s hot and tastes more like home, it can help them out.”
“It is great to see and hear the excited responses from our food,” agreed Vega and Cayten.
“A hot meal gives the Soldiers something to look forward to everyday when they’re out here just exhausted from training and tired of eating food that comes in a bag,” said Vega. “It’s much better than sitting down in the grass and eating an MRE.”
“With a homemade meal, more goes into it,” continued Vega. “There’s more care and love, and we serve it as kindly as we can.”