The Yuletide Dinner
Unlike the Titan 2 sites a Titan 1 site had a full Mess with cooks and a complete kitchen. The meals were the same as served at the main base, but for the most part they were prepared with a little more care. Notice that I did not say that they were better, any GI even this long after the fact knows never to admit to having an excellent meal while in the service, but there was one meal, one very special dinner that I do remember.....
There was an Airman who had been on remote assignment for 18 months, in training for another 15 months now finding himself missing his children's third Christmas because he was on alert. He was what we would later call "not a happy camper".
Somewhere around 2000 hrs. this airman was sent off to the far reaches of the complex to take readings on some equipment. You could hear his slow disappointed foot steps echoing down the tunnel ways as he moved off. He had only spent one Christmas with his wife and not one with his son or daughter.
Seasonal music is now being played over the site speaker system when an announcement is made for the airman to return to the control center.
Opening the door to the control center he finds the lights are off, but right in the center of what is normally the maintenance area stands a Christmas tree, lights, tinsel, ornaments, presents, the whole works. And then out came the kids, not only his, but the families of everyone on the site that night. The Launch Control Officer, Guidance Control Officer, Two electrical Power Production Operators, A Missile Maintenance Technician, A Security specialist, the Food Preparation Specialist, 6 wives, one girl friend, and 12 kids.
I know for a fact that the best food ever served by the US Air Force was served that night in that place. Not only did we have the standard issues, but each of the wives had brought their home cooked specialty. The cook had even spent the day cooking pheasants supplied by the security force!
It was well passed midnight when the families left and for the rest of the night we sat around trying to remember a better Christmas eve.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT