The drill instructor identified nineteen recruits whose hometowns were near us teachers. These trainees were lined up in front of the mess hall when we arrived for lunch. See the picture above.
We teachers gathered in front of the recruits as the drill instructor ordered each young man to take one step forward and yell their name, hometown, and his week in training. This information enabled our group to identify recruits who lived near us.
When the formation was dismissed by the drill instructor, we joined this chosen group and formed a line to to get trays and utensils. We proceeded along the serving line as shown in the first picture below. There was a variety of fresh meat, vegetables and fresh fruit from which to choose.
After other recruits were served, they moved into the dining room to take the next available seat starting in the corner as the second picture below shows.
The last picture shows the teachers' dining area where the hometown recruits mixed with us as we talked with them about their high school and Marine training experiences.
In my opinion, the food was delicious. Military food menus are prepared by the Armed Forces Recipe Center in Natick, Mass. A web link about this group can reached here.
I enjoyed the dining experience with recruits from Asheboro and Greensboro, North Carolina and remembered my "mess hall" experiences in basic training forty-two years earlier.
Have a good week and return here on April 1 for an update.