Dining Out with the Air Force

This past weekend was the Air Force’s annual “Dining Out”, where people in the Air Force all go to a fancy schmancy place in Chino Valley and have an elegant dinner.  I am not in the Air Force, but one of my friends is and he invited me to go with him.  It was a very educational experience for me!  I dressed up in one of my best homecoming dresses (yeah, it was that fancy!) and he went in his “blues” (the Air Force’s formal attire) and we went to have a fun evening!


This is the Windmill House, located in Chino Valley, AZ.  This resort hosts weddings, anniversaries, parties of every type, and this year, AFROTC’s Dining Out!


They have a cool little bridge that leads to a little dock overlooking the lake and a little gazebo next to the dock.  It is SO pretty!  The inside is gorgeous as well!  The tables were all covered with a navy blue tablecloth, except for one; this table had a white tablecloth, reserved for POWs and MIAs.  On it was a single rose, glasses sitting upside down, and different hats, to honor those people who are fighting for our country and who are not able to reap the benefits.  On one side of the room was the Head Table, where the, well, head people sat!  (I’m really sorry I’m not using the right lingo here: I’m only guessing at the terms from what I heard that night!)

In the middle of the room, separating one side from the other, sat the table with the GROG.  I have no idea how it came to be, but in the midst of this formal dinner sat a trash can filled with all sorts of nasty stuff that different flights brought for unlucky victims to drink (the GROG).  Apparently, every flight brings some sort of (edible) thing that starts with the same letter their flight does.  (For example, Foxtrot (?) would bring french vanilla to add to the GROGgy concoction).  After the meal was finished, there was a sort of competition.  To make someone drink the GROG, a person would go up and say a poem inviting that person to drink it.  The victim has one minute to come up with a rebuttal poem, and if it’s not good enough, well, then they get to drink it!  That was extremely entertaining!  (I tasted some of the GROG though, and it was actually pretty good because everybody brought fruit punch to put in it!  So, it was basically fruit punch.  How terrible.)

Anyway, that was my experience at Dining Out, which I found to be very fascinating!  I felt honored to take part in such a cool tradition held by ERAU.

“It wasn’t the reward that mattered or the recognition you might harvest.  It was your depth of commitment, your quality of service, the product of your devotion — these were the things that counted in life.  When you gave purely, the honor came in the giving, and that was honor enough.”
-Scott O’Grady

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