March 1, 2024

Providing a Home Away from Home for Bartending Vet

1.6 min read| Published On: March 1st, 2024|

By Gina Horan

Providing a Home Away from Home for Bartending Vet

1.6 min read| Published On: March 1st, 2024|

Thank You for Your Service

People join the armed forces for many reasons — a call to serve their country, a desire to begin a military career or for the benefits and travel. 

For Charli Wainscott, bartender at The Warehouse Social Club & Eatery in Leesburg, the decision was less than fully planned out. 

“One day during our senior year my girlfriends and I didn’t feel like attending class, so we got an excused absence by going to the local Navy recruiting office and taking the ASVAB,” she recalls. 

The trio took the test — the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery — and Charli ended up enlisting in the United States Navy.

Now a 45-year-old mother of two sons, at age 18, Charli left Pennsylvania and headed to Whidbey Island near Tacoma, Washington. She served four years as a yeoman third class at the electronic attack weapons station where they taught pilots how to fly the EA-6B Prowler aircraft. 

“I worked in administration and my duties included typing up fitness reports, answering phones and setting up travel for officers,” Charli says. 

She earned the Navy Achievement Medal early-on, an achievement she is proud of. 

“I have no regrets,” Charli says. “Those were the best four years of my life.”  

Charli was honorably discharged in July of 2001 and began cocktail waitressing at a local casino but soon realized that the petty clashes between co-workers was not for her. 

Left: Charli Wainscott
Right: Raechel Galvin

“My boss asked me if I wanted to bartend instead and that’s how I got my start,” she says. 

Charli has worked as a bartender ever since, mostly in and around Leesburg. In 2021, she landed at The Warehouse, a nonprofit members-only bar and restaurant social club that supports military and first responders. 

“I love bartending here because of the great staff and the support we give to vets and first responders,” she says. 

Charli openly admits she battles depression and says that tending bar helps get her out of the house and socialize. 

As a part-time brand ambassador for Fuzzy Zoeller’s Ultra Premium Vodka, she attends golf tournaments and visits country clubs, doling out schwag and creating a fun atmosphere for Fuzzy Zoeller fans.

“Every day is different,” says Charli, “and that helps me stay positive and keeps me going.”

Visit Charli behind the bar, 10:30am to 6:30pm Tuesday through Friday. 

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About the Author: Gina Horan

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