The Freeman Café continues business ... not as usual, following the outbreak of coronavirus, as they serve ready-to-eat meals to quarantined troopers on Fort Hood.
As if the countless number of Phillip A. Connelly Culinary Competition trophies within the Freeman Café does not already say it, the 120th Quartermaster Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cav. Div., makes quality food. Their ability to provide hot and ready meals to quarantined Soldiers is a vital spear in keeping their morale high and their bodies healthy while staying in place for two weeks.
Sgt. 1st Class Quincey Queen, Freeman Café manager, is one of many Wagonmasters who are the reason the “ready-to-eat” program continues to feed troopers across the installation.
“That’s one of the main things that we are doing. We are not turning anyone away. If Soldiers need assistance, we will provide that for them,” Queen said. “We want to make them a dish that we would want if we were locked down for 14 days.”
Every other day, Freeman has an obligation to provide three
hot meals for troopers quarantined on the tail-end of exercise DEFENDER-Europe 2020 and COVID-19.
Queen said the operations and workflow is something they manage well. On days they are not providing meals to those quarantined, a group of Wagonmasters assist the Fort Hood food truck in ensuring the Soldiers are fed.
“It took some time to get used to but now we have a good battle-rhythm down,” Queen said. “The Soldiers understand that we are essential personnel, no matter what is going on, people have to eat and we have to support the warfighter.”
Operations inside the dining facility remain fairly normal, with a few precautions to keep personnel safe. Freeman requires troopers who enter the facility to maintain six feet of distance between each other. Each culinary specialist serves food in a contactless manner and wears personal protective gear to be as safe as possible.
“Our number one priority is to keep food safe for the Soldiers right now. We’re constantly washing our hands, wearing gloves, and keeping our distances,” Queen said. “The last thing that we want to do is be the cause of somebody getting sick. This is a serious thing we are dealing with.”
The morale of the culinary specialists and the troopers with Freeman stays high. Wagonmasters like Spc. Bryant Glover understand the concern that comes with the job and takes it seriously.
“I know I’m essential and I am here to perform a duty,” Glover said. “It’s honestly an honor to be able to serve during such a crisis as this one.”
The Freeman Café continues to provide support during the pandemic. The Wagonmasters efforts are reaching troopers from all over Fort Hood and plans to continue to do so.