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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta may Viet veteran cooking a new future TV.vkl B.mks l.ist worked in n kilelien that uas so unstable ime clay 20 dozen freshly-baked ii.'slTms suddenly splattered the wall. For a week at a time aU he did was fry bacon. Tire next week he might fry eggs. It got so lie could match the man to the egg without being to do it like your favorite bartender remember- ing you prefer ice chunks over wished ice with your Black Jlussian That was aboard a United Stires X.ivy ship cruising off tlx: shore 01" Vietnam a far cry fiom the Marquis Hotel coffee phop where Mr. Banks is phing his trade these days usirg techniques a good deal more refined and not parlicu- l.-irly worrying about set aping muffins off walls. Thankless Sterling 14 hours a da> in f. Kjlehen to feed 460 guj's on a LI S. Navy ship is a thankless job Mr Banks iccalls He is in LeUibridge as 2 landed im- migrant. Cooking in Isrge quantities ami using mostly dehydrated foods, makes it difficult to get a meal to taste "like mother used to make it." "They kept asking us if there was am thing we could do to make a meal taste better and that's hard to take when you've been cooking for them since 4 a said in an interview. Mr. Banks, 19, living at 2019 15th Ave. S., served eight months in Vietnam and was in the U.S. Navy a total of 15 months. A typical breakfast aboard ship included 96 pounds of bacon or sausages, 68 pounds of corned beef, 30 loaves of bread and as many as 56 dozen eggs. Food cured by die sailors during the other two meals each flay included about 900 cinna- mon rolls, enough dehydrated potatoes to make 750 pounds of cooked potatoes, 30 loaves of bread, pounds hamburger or 406 pounds of steak and 100 founds of rice. To make up the salads for (he daily meals the 13 cooks aboard ship prepared 114 pounds of lettuce, 45 pounds erf eelerv, 60 pounds of onions and 260 pounds of tomatoes. Refreshments for the whole day included 20 pounds of cof- fee. 100 gallons of cool aide and 2.830 bottles of soda pop. In faii-ness to. the thirsty mates one must realize the ci- niate is very hot in that area of the world. The men were encouraged to eat rice, crackers, and bread to help to soak-up the juices in the stomach so as to prevent sea sickness, said Mr. Banks. Hough seas often created a frustrating scene of food pande- monium in the kitchen. "Sometimes we were like a cork in a big he said. "One time I saw 28 dozen freshly-cooked muffins splatter againt the wall." An on-dcck barbecue was held aboard ship each Sunday to the delight of the crews' laste buds. On the charcoal menu to tickle the palate were steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs. Another treat for the crew was nightly movies, including aU the latest films. Cooking in civilian life Is much easier than in the Navy because the hours and com- plaints are fewer, he claimed. Mr. Banks voluntarily joined Hie U S. Navy so he could choose the force he wanted to serve in and so he could get an education. Draftees are almost automatically put into the ma- rines and don't receive much non-military training, be said. Training He received nine weeks of military training and eight weeks of schooling on how to cook. Even .though he fought for it, Mr. Banks decided to leave the U.S. because he thought morale was low there and he prefers the wide-open spaces Canada offers. He plans to apply for Cana- dian citizenship and fight for the country if necessary. "I could still be called for duty in the U.S. Navy but would only go if it was a major he claimed. The adjustment to civilian society after a stint in Uie navy isn't easy. "I am having prouiemjs drop- ping the yes sir, no sir train- he said. Dishing out a meal David Banks, 19, at work in the Marquis Hotel kitchen. By JIM GRANT, Herald Staff Writer ;