By Mr George Markfelder (JFHQNCRMDW)July 29, 2011
For 106 years the Dining Facility at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. has served meals to service members and civilians. On July 29, 2011 that mission ended.
“On behalf of my Soldiers and me, it’s been an honor serving here at historic Fort McNair and it is something I will remember for the rest of my career,” said Antonio A. Williams, dining facility manager. “I just took over the DFAC from Sgt. First Class Billy Yarborough in June, and we knew the closing was coming and we wanted to do something nice for all of the people this facility has provided for over the years.”
Prior to the last day of operations, the McNair DFAC staff provided a special thank-you meal for their customers that included grilled steak, deep fried shrimp and chicken and baked salmon. According to Rodney Taylor, the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH) installation food program manager, the usual lunch crowd averages 150 at the small facility, but for this special meal, 310 customers stood in a long line, in nearly 100 degree heat, waiting their turn to enjoy a final meal at the historic facility.
Kim Holien, the JBM-HH historian said the west mess hall, (bldg. 50) was designed and built to feed two companies of Soldiers, and remained in daily use serving members of The Old Guard, students of the Inter-American Defense College, and other uniformed members and civilians of the Post. The 89 feet x 104 feet one-story brick building contained ten rooms and cost $23,000 in 1905. The basement held the steam heat equipment for both the dining hall and the west barracks (bldg. 52) facing the parade ground still in use today.
“I asked to be assigned to The Old Guard here in D.C., it’s so unique seeing all of the monuments and history of the place,” said Cpl. Kenneth J. Killingbeck, food service specialist. “We are a small DFAC, and the platoon is almost like family. I really enjoyed the people I worked with and working in The Old Guard gave me the opportunity to attend some great training, such as Airborne school and the Warrior Leadership course.”
According to Williams, the 18 Soldiers who worked at the McNair DFAC will move to new barracks opened recently on JBM-HH and will work at the DFAC there.
For the customers left on McNair, the post Officers' Club will begin breakfast service Monday, Aug. 1, and serve Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. (closed on federal holidays). Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Individual items range in price from $2.25 to $7.75. Club members can show their membership card to receive a 10 percent discount. Non-members are always welcome too.