CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. –
The friendly banter of a bustling chow hall grows as Soldiers pile in to grab a hard-earned meal. Familiar faces greet them with a smile.
One such face is Ronald Correira, a retired chief warren officer 5 with the Massachusetts National Guard. After 40 years as a state food service technician, Correira continues to work in food service today at Twining Hall, a military dining facility here.
“The best part is still being in contact with the Soldiers,” said Correira. “You know when you retire you really don’t miss a lot of things, but you miss the contact you have with the people … very good people, the good, the bad, the ugly.”
Prior to working full-time in the National Guard, Correira worked for the VA hospital with service members as a drug rehab counselor. After working in a military setting for so many years, he struggled with transitioning into a civilian work place.
“It’s very different, that was the hardest part,” he said.
Today, Correira spends 30 hours a week making sure that the dining facility runs smoothly and efficiently; he takes part in planning the menu and ordering the food. Regularly, Correira meets with the manager and assistant manager to give them updates and explain what needs to be improved.
When he’s not working, Correira enjoys playing golf and traveling. He has one daughter named Lisa who is a vice principal in Milford, Massachusetts.
Correira also pursues his interest in food service at home, but under one condition: “I cook only with the understanding that you clean,” he said.