Let me tell you about the hard working members of the kitchen crew. I'm sure they have a fancier name, but as you can imagine no fancier job. Evidently, regardless of what you want to do or what you may be training for when you set sail for the very first time you get KP duty for 90 days. There are many brave soldiers that serve in the kitchen. Meals happen 3 times a day and once at night. I know from experiance that it is difficult to make 2 adults and 4 children happy at dinner time. Imagine dealing with 800 or more.
I had the opportunity to serve in the kitchen while aboard the USNS Comfort. I've mentioned before that I did the dishes. Doing the dishes takes alot of bravery when you have to do it everyday. YOu get to review everyone's tray and determine if they recycled properly when they were finished. Did the bones go in the bone bin? Was paper seperated from metal and plastic? The hardest part is determining if what's left can go down the disposal. The "Disposal" being large enough and scary enough to remove your errant hand if you get too close to the blades. Two fine workers are shown here because they made sure I left with all 10 of my fingers still attached.
So how does someone only working in the kitchen become a HERO? This is the story related to me by J. Dyer, the hero in question.
Food service was good for lunch. We were having burgers with all the fixin's. One serviceman decided to toast his hamburger bun. This is where near disaster happens. THe bun being thicker than average bread got hung up inside the rotating grill and instead of toasting and smoothly being dispatched it stopped in place next to the heating element. Before long, flames were noted to be escaping from the toaster. Fortunately for everyone aboard the ship. The bun toasting serviceman happened upon our HERO. J. Dyer was in the seating area wiping down tables and generally improving the ambience. When our HERO saw the flames he immediately went to action, thinking not of his own safety, he positioned himself between the toaster and the rest of us. Quick thinking, he pulled the plug but the flames continued to burn. Then with inspiration born of greater things, he removed the charred and flaming buns and with a mighty breath he blew out the fire. J.Dyer is truly an un-sung HERO no more because I have revealed his secret. Thanks to J. Dyer and all the others that through their self-less acts kept us safe...especially those guys and gals who carried the really big guns.