Friday, February 03, 2012

The Warrior Club

When I was stationed in Korea, at least once a week we had lunch or dinner at the Warrior Club.  Part of the building had a money changer and ATM.  There was a dance/reception hall, a room with nickel, dime, and quarter slot machines, and a restaurant.  Now I was a specialist at the time, but soon after getting to Korea, two great things happened.  I paid off my truck, and I got a time in grade jump.  This put about $300 additional dollars in my pocket a month.  Not a lot by today’s standards, but pretty good for an Army guy without any bills, at all.  No rent, no groceries, no water, and no electric.  Oh wait, I had phone and internet for about $10 a month.  So, I had a pay coming to me at about $1,500 a month.  Not too shabby for 1998 (that barely pays my rent now). 
Now, there were at least 3 other guys like me and one of them was an E-5 so he was banking even more.  When I say we ate at the Warrior Club once a week, I mean we ate there about 3-4 times a week.  Free food was just right across the street, but we had money and by gosh we were going to spend it.  I remember that we could eat and tip the waitress for around $6.  We would take any change we got back and try and win our lunch at the slot machines.  That was really the only time we played them, except for one guy we knew that would walk in with a dollars worth of quarters on a weekly basis and walk out with $20.  It was like magic.  Sometimes we would get lucky and win our lunch money back, but usually we didn’t. 
The same waitress always served us and knew what we wanted and what we liked to drink.  This is the only place I have ever been to where this has happened.  I mean, you always see the person ordering the usual on TV, but in real life it just doesn’t really happen.  I am pretty sure I had a crush on one of the waitresses that was probably old enough to be my mother.  The food was great.  The burger’s were excellent and through the rose tinted glasses of time seemed to be way better than what I get currently from chain restaurants. 
Sundays they would have a brunch for about $10.  We thought that was pretty steep and didn’t take part very often.  After all the mess hall breakfast was free and probably the best meal they served.  We did go once in a while and enjoy the food that was laid out.  The brunch was the most crowded times there.  They would also have bands come in and even had a talent show that one of my buddies won. 
It was a great time.  It was male bonding time, but really all the time I was in the Army was male bonding time.  We would sit around the table, talk, eat, do the cryptoquiz out of the Stars and Stripes, and sometimes flirt with the waitresses.  It is one of the things that I miss most about, not just Korea, but the Army in general.  It was a great place, and I wonder if it is still there in Camp Casey Korea. 

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Better than Rosie's from M.A.S.H.?
My father was military, so I understand some of what you mean by bonding. Strange how some can't understand that kind of friendship.