Green Eggs and Ham..
the culinary experiences of a SP (circa 1978~1981) -
story by Ken Kern
Although, they were both Security Police.. there were definite differences between airmen working Security vs LE. Aside from the difference in duty & restricted area access, the Security SP, in my opinion, got the short end of the stick on many items. For instance, let's look at meals! The LE ate at the chow hall (when open)..
Security SPs.. on the other hand..
if you had WSA duty, dining at the chow hall was out of the question. If posted elsewhere in the NAPAs or TAPAs.. one could go to the chow hall. The SRT or ART would go - then return to relieve the SP at the ECPs, and so on.
During some exercises such as Operation Sparrowhawk, (click here for the article) chow for both LE & Security consisted of "C" rations, that is, various processed foods in cans, etc. handed out in compact brown cardboard boxes. I distinctly remembered not liking the processed pork parts in a can.. it was encased in a congealed gelatin.. yummy! (not). Seemed most everyone else tried to trade that item with little success. There were other "choices" of course.. like spaghetti with meatballs (not bad). Considering they were about 10 years old, I suppose they weren't too bad!
I don't recall when chow hall privileges stopped, but it did for Security SPs. What came next were the "box nasties" that were delivered to our posts. They came to us in white cardboard boxes containing a simple sandwich or two, a fruit like an apple & few other items. It was a definite step down from having a hot meal which broke the monotony of the job while providing a glimpse of civilization. By the way, "box nasties" if I recall correctly were also the meal of choice for Security SPs during alerts. It is unknown to me just how long this practice persisted.
Then came the hot chow on wheels. Select Security SPs were trained as food handlers.. presumably by airmen working full time at the chow halls. Many junior NCOs like the buck sergeants & SRAs did this duty with an assistant. They drove their chow in Metro vans.. those big boxy vans with the sliding passenger side & two swing out doors to the back. They would collect hot food from the chow hall & dispense them to security SPs everywhere. Ahhh... the next best thing to being home! Lumpy SOS with green eggs & ham during the midnight shifts! I don't understand to this day why eggs or meat appeared greenish in color. That's how they looked many times, but tasted alright.
Many people think that serving in the Air Force is a lot like having a civilian job. Agreed - in many instances, but Security SPs were a class apart. It was the closest experience (along with ParaRescue.. what a tough outfit) to being in the Army.. but, in the Air Force. Food, lack of mobility, being held to a higher standard (much of it unwritten), having a dreadful, thankless & boring day-in & night-out job, working l o n g hours at a moments notice, experience all of England's elements: snow, rain, fog, some sun (smile), cold, sleet & hale in person.. & on & on. Despite these shortcomings, most of us have great memories.. we gained from the opportunity to serve overseas in a wonderful country like the U.K., made great friends & had the opportunity to travel in Europe courtesy of Uncle Sam!
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