Thursday, December 29, 2005
Real American Hero-The Chow Hall Guy
Here's some bonus pics of Corporal Clarke working the chow hall crowd New Years Day.
The Moto Tap
The Chow Hall Guy Shakes Another Hand "Wazup Devildog"
Corporal Jonathan K. Clarke USMC
Not every job over here falls into a category with a potential for doing something heroic. Even so, there are a few who manage to be heroes in their own way, despite having the least glamorous of assignments. One of these here at Camp Fallujah is "The Chow Hall Guy", Corporal Jonathan K. Clarke of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.(Cue the Bud Light Real American Heroes music please!) Cpl. Clarke works 8 hours a day checking ID cards as GIs enter the DFAC(Dining Facility). He stands a little post of about 10 square feet sandwiched between sandbags and concrete barriers day after day, week after week and month after month. M. Scott Peck, the self-help guru, once defined a hero as someone who's able to accomplish what no one else can, and this applies to Clarke. He greets everyone approaching his post with infectious enthusiasm and a savoir-faire all his own. And he does this while requiring all, whether private or general, to show him their ID card. His trademark is an infectious "oorah, oorah" followed by a handshake, or, what he calls, a moto tap. (Moto is Marine-speak for motivation.) Clarke has managed to transform the most mundane and repetitive of tasks into a genuinely looked forward to experience. Most of us, myself included, would be deadened at some point by this species of mindless work. But Corporal Clarke of North Philly has made this job all his own by putting his heart into it. So, here's to you oh sultan of salutations, the Chow Hall Guy, a Real American Hero.