By Staff Sgt. J. Aaron Breeden
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Well before most of us are considering waking up for the day, the breakfast crew at Team Pete’s Aragon dining facility are up and at work by 4 a.m.
One member in particular, Airman 1st Class Andres Popp, 21st Force Support Squadron services apprentice, shared his day-in-the-life experiences inside the base kitchen.
Popp, a Las Vegas, N.M., native, joined the Air Force only a week after graduating high school, and set off for Services tech school upon completion of basic training. Despite not having any prior experience in the food service industry, Popp said this is a trade that comes to him easily.
“It’s a good skill to have,” said Popp. “And I’m good at it.”
Now with a year-and-a-half of active duty service under his belt, Popp has nearly completed his initial phase of food service training. His proficiency of culinary skills has also enabled him to train incoming Airmen, helping them learn their way around the DFAC.
Popp’s morning routine consists of preparing typical breakfast foods — bacon, eggs and oatmeal — for their morning crowd of nearly 100 guests.
He added that many of these guests are ‘regulars’ who help add to the already family-like environment shared by the DFAC staff.
“The people are the best,” said Popp. “Everyone — even the customers — is fun to work with. It’s like a family.”
Once the breakfast service is complete, Popp and his team quickly tidy up and enjoy a short break before beginning preparations for lunch.
One aspect of food service that Popp has taken to heart is understanding the nutritional value of certain foods and how they affect one’s well-being.
“In basic we all felt good because we ate well,” said Popp.
Yet, he admitted to “falling out” from a healthy lifestyle during tech school, a mistake he hasn’t made since.
While Popp has enjoyed his time at Aragon, he said there are stressors that do take their toll.
“There are tough times here just like with any other job,” said Popp.
Despite the tough times, Popp said his Aragon family is always able to help because they truly understand how to care for one another.