I came in on a Huey to another nondescript LZ in the middle of nowhere. I had to drop off some supplies to the guys who were doing some work on the LZ. They came out to meet me at the sling out pad to pick up their supplies and immediately they wanted to know if I was going to "get" to stay long enough to have chow. I told them I couldn't, I had other supplies to drop of at other locations. "That's too bad," they all told me. It was a strange question and even stranger response. "Why was it so bad, I wasn't going to get to stay for chow?" I asked. "This is Mess Daddy's LZ!" was their response. Then they told me the story.

This particular LZ had a mess sergeant who had made it his job to make sure he exceeded anyones expectations to feed his soldiers. It wasn't that he was trying to do better than anyone else, it was his personal belief that a good soldier was a well fed soldier and he made every effort to feed everyone well. He had a lot of infantry coming through his LZ and he knew what a hard life they had, so he made it a point that the meal or two they got at his field kitchen was an excellent one.

The guys were raving about how good the food was and how the kitchen seemed to be open forever. The three normal meals a day were served and it wasn't just normal food. It was served hot, it was better than you could get even down in Bien Hoa, and in the evening, Mess Daddy made pizzas, popcorn and cookies for the guys.

Mess Daddy would watch the guys coming through the chow line and if he thought he saw someone not eating well, he would make it a point to watch him the next meal to see if the guy was not eating well on a regular basis. If you weren't eating well, then there was something wrong with you and he would talk to your commanding officer or the chaplain to see if they would talk to you and find out if there was a problem.

The man was dedicated to feeding everyone he could, well.

After he left the service, he opened up a restaurant on the East coast called, "Mess Daddy's."



Originally posted on 1st Cavalry Association Guest Book
by, and included here with permission from Steve Richey.

ęSteve Richey, 2003-2005, All Rights Reserved.

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