With the sweltering heat of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, topping more than 111 degrees Fahrenheit, volunteers for Serving Our Troops armed themselves with spatulas and aprons as they drop the first steaks on the grill on May 25, 2019. The Twin-Cities based organization made the trek to the Middle East with more than 40 volunteers to serve freshly grilled steaks to the more than 600 Soldiers deployed with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division.
At the same time, the Twin-Cities based Serving Our Troops organization is serving a steak dinner to family members and friends of the Soldiers back home at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. As Soldiers and their families enjoy steaks donated by a number of Twin Cities restaurants, a live-video feed has connected the two sites, giving troops and their loved ones the opportunity to enjoy dinner together.
"I wanted to show all the Red Bulls that we realize they are here, and care that they're here and appreciate that they are here," said Drew Lee, a volunteer for Serving Our Troops and Radio Co-host of Twin Cities News Talk's Justice and Drew. "We also wanted to give them the opportunity to reconnect with their families back home."
During the evening's event, Serving Our Troops, which has been supporting military members and their families for 15 years, served it's 100,000th steak. Spreading out their efforts, nearly 4,500 steaks were served at two of the dining facilities on post.
"Logistically there is so much involved in trying to get this many people and all of these meals, all of this food from St. Paul to Kuwait and into a military base," said Lee. "These organizers all have full-time jobs, are busy people and take the time out of their lives to coordinate all the logistics involved with pulling this."
The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division mobilized last September for a 10-month deployment throughout U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility in support of Task Force Spartan to build partner capacity and stability throughout the region.