Ossipee — One way to a Marine’s heart is through his stomach. A group of 31 war-bound U.S. Marines converged on an Ossipee Lake cottage last month to live it up before shipping out to the Middle East.
The first phone call was to Lazy Susan’s restaurant owner Dave Dube. The veterans’ advocate and retired Marine was surprised and touched by what he was asked to brew up for the departing warriors at his Ossipee kitchen: “s— on a shingle.”
Also know as creamed beef, it’s classic no-frills military mess hall fare: chipped beef, flour, Worcestershire sauce and milk slopped on a biscuit.
“Creamed beef. That’s a very military kind of thing,” said Dube, who delivered 10 pounds of beef and 40 biscuits to the partying Marines. It was heartwarming, he said, that the younger generation of soldiers, many of whom had already spent one tour in a dangerous war zone, were thinking of him.
“I felt kind of good about it,” he said. “I felt proud to help these young guys have a good time.”
It all started years ago with one Marine helping another out of a jam. When Richard Harnois’s boat sputtered out on Berry Bay, Dube cruised up in his own craft with the Marine insignia emblazoned on the hull and hauled the young man to shore. Years later, Cpl. Harnois was among the 31 whooping it up at the cottage, owned by his father, Don Harnois, a Cranmore ski instructor. It was Don who placed the call to Dube ordering up the beefy treat to honor his son’s unit, Dube said.
“You don’t think someone would be thinking about this kind of thing,” Dube said. “They remembered.”
Don said the soldiers are from 25th Marines Regiment, 4th Marine Division, a cold weather command unit stationed at Fort Devens, Mass. In the summers, they train in icy locales, including Norway and Australia. When winter hits the Northeast, several, including his son, are Cranmore regulars.
Some are seeing war for the second time. This time around, he said, they’ve received extensive pre-deployment training.
“Rich found his way to the Al Asard Air Force Base, while many of his fellow Marines ended up elsewhere in Iraq,” Don wrote in an e-mail. “For many of them their first tour of duty in Iraq was at a Marine installation in Ramadi at the beginning of the war when things were much more dangerous and difficult.”
The group hit the lake on Sept 15 and rolled out two days later. “They all had to return home to say their official goodbyes to their families before departing for their deployment on Wednesday Sept 23,” he said.
Dube, a trained chef and ex-Marine cook, has the blue collar biscuits and beef on the regular menu at Lazy Susan’s. He says the dish drums up all kinds of table banter among vets of all ages.
“We used to serve 30 gallons of it a day,” he said of his service days.