CAMP TAJI, Iraq (Army News Service, Jan. 22, 2007) - The generosity of an infantryman's parents working in coordination with a major pizza restaurant's corporate office provided a feast to some Soldiers here Jan. 18.
Soldiers from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, dined on Little Caesars pizza shipped to them from Detroit. The coordinated effort involved the Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program teaming with L.S.S. Consulting, a global security consulting firm, in which both parents of a Co. B Soldier are executives. DHL shipping also worked with the unit's Family Readiness Group at Fort Hood, Texas, to get the pizzas into the hands and stomachs of Soldiers.
More than 100 pizza kits - enough to make about 500 pizzas - were flown here and shipped by DHL via a military convoy Jan 9. The kits were encased in a 42-cubic-foot refrigerated shipping container to keep them fresh for later cooking.
The event came about when Pfc. James Timmons' parents, Ned and Mary Timmons of L.S.S. Consulting and Walled Lake, Mich., decided to send their son and his fellow Soldiers a taste of home. Ned and Mary teamed with the other companies and also paid the cost for shipping the crate.
"My parents first contacted me, so I knew (the pizzas) were coming," said Timmons. "There were a lot of people actually working to get these out here, and it lets us know that there are folks out there who are grateful for what we're doing here.
"When I saw it, the only thing I could think was 'We're definitely going to be eating some pizza!'" said Timmons.
"This means a lot, and even though the guys can buy pizzas here, this is more heartfelt as it's chow from home," said 1st Sgt. Damon Perez, Co. B first sergeant. "This really motivates the Soldiers to see that people in the States really do care and support us."
The pizzas were cooked in a mobile field kitchen, and food-service specialists from Company E opened each kit and placed the sauce and the toppings on each pizza prior to cooking.
It took about 20 minutes to cook each pizza.
"Doing this was no problem," said Staff Sgt. Brent Boodoo, senior food-service operations sergeant for Co. E. "We'll do anything to raise the morale of the Soldiers."
The company spends most of its time in Iraq pulling security, going on patrols, doing humanitarian missions and assisting local Iraqi government officials with projects and other issues. The unit also searches for weapons caches and looks for IEDs, while at the same time assisting Iraqi police and Iraqi Army troops based at the Mushahidah IP station.
More times than not, the Soldiers find themselves working long hours, sometimes seven days a week, so the pizza break was well-earned, according to Capt. Adrian Spevak, Co. B commander.
"This (break) is well-deserved as a lot of times they're pushed pretty hard ... They're out there when it's raining, when it's cold, and they'll be out there when it gets extremely hot, but they never complain about it," Spevak said. "They do a lot of events on a daily basis within the local (community) to make the lives of the Iraqis better."
The Soldiers said they were grateful to everyone involved in making the pizza break possible and enjoyed getting the "slice of home."
"This really tastes like home, and pizza always brings a smile to my face," said Spc. Abran Gonzalez, an infantryman with Co. B. "I never would have dreamed that I would be eating Little Caesars pizza in Iraq."