Last night I had my second shift at the USO, Puget Sound. I felt more comfortable in my duties this time, didn't feel like too much of an idiot - not knowing what I was doing. I made about 30 ham and cheese sandwiches and quite a few pots of coffee.
The normal routine for a Soldier is the following:
If they have never been they usually kind of stand in the doorway, unsure of what to do.
They always have 3-4 huge bags with them and we first tell them to put their bags away in a storage area we have. I get my first of many Thank you Ma'am at that point. I am so not a Ma'am but it's the way they talk and I don't take it personally anymore.
They then show their Military ID and sign in. We tell them where the bathroom and shower is, that there are couches, a tv. The food is all complimentary but it's a little on the pathetic side; bad white bread, one slice of ham or one scoop of tuna, a container of chicken or beef cup 'o noodles, some fruit and chips. They can have whatever they want, as much as they want and are grateful to get it. Ususally they ask how much they cost and are really surprised when we tell them its all free.
Seemed like there were a lot of super tired Soldiers last night and the bunks filled up quick, none were on the floor though so that was an improvement.