Fort Bragg's First Drive-Thru Opens at Dining Hall

Cooks at the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade celebrated the opening of their drive-thru window just as they hoped -- whizzing around the kitchen to fill orders.

Behind the window, the cooks dropped fries and packed plates to go as they listened to orders coming in over their headsets. Cars backed up from the window to behind the building waiting to place orders.

"This is really exciting," said Sgt. Shameeka Stanley, one of the brigade's cooks. "We cater to what soldiers want."

It's the first drive-thru window for a dining facility on Fort Bragg and only the fifth at any Army installation, officials said.

"We take pride in that," Stanley said. "It's exciting because soldiers have been asking about it for a while. They asked for it and it's here."

The menu is different than what's offered if a soldiers walks in to eat. The drive-thru menu is designed to be faster, so it's grab-and-go type food, including sandwiches, wraps and hamburgers.

Sgt. 1st Class Monica York, the dining facility's manager, said the drive-thru window provides another dining option for soldiers.

"I think it's going to be a popular choice for soldiers," she said. "We wanted to give soldiers an option so that they don't have to go home or go without eating."

The drive-thru had always been a part of the dining facility building, York said. Cooks of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade moved into the building about three years ago, always keeping the drive-thru window in the back of their minds.

Before they could open it, York said they had to build up their crowd.

The challenge is the dining facility is on a remote part of post, near the Yarborough complex. It's open to anyone, but York guessed its used most often by soldiers in the field for training, at the firing ranges or from 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

The dining facility serves about 200 soldiers per meal, York said.

Discussions to open the window started two months ago. York said she was thrilled when a date was set to open the window.

"Soldiers work hard and they train hard," York said. "It gives you a nice feeling when you can feed soldiers."

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