FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Fort Rucker chaplaincy recently received a donation of 37 pallets of coffee K-Cups and its staff is putting it to use to help increase the spiritual readiness of the post community.
Donated by Holy Joe’s Café, a nationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to providing free coffee to chaplain ministries across the armed forces, the bounty inside the Spiritual Life Center is helping Fort Rucker chaplains connect with Soldiers, according to Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Schnarr, garrison chaplain.
“It’s a fantastic idea,” he said. “So many of us enjoy coffee – it’s a morale booster – and it’s a way for the greater community outside the gates to do something directly for the troops. People like doing things for Soldiers – something that can really bring joy to them. A cup of coffee in the morning is hard to beat.”
But the bounty isn’t going to just sit in the Spiritual Life Center, Schnarr said.
“We’re pushing it out to Soldiers, civilians and everyone on post – if you want some, contact your chaplain and they’ll be more than willing to get you some coffee,” he said, adding that the coffee will also be available at various chaplaincy events and offices. “Years ago, people used to talk about chaplains and candy. Well, coffee is much more practical.”
The Army recognizes spiritual readiness – defined in Field Manual 7-22 as “the ability to endure and overcome times of stress, hardship, and tragedy by making meaning of life experiences,” – is vital for Soldiers, and the post’s resident experts on that subject are the chaplains, Schnarr said.
“So, getting Soldiers, Army civilian employees and contractors involved in engaging with their chaplains provides an opportunity to build that spiritual readiness,” he said. “We have all sorts of issues going on in the Army, and having the coffee is another way to help us make a connection with people.”
The chaplains will have a lot of connecting to do, as the 37 pallets come out to more than 3 tons of coffee, according to Schnarr. So, people wanting to get a free box of K-Cups should get in touch with their chaplain, maybe even inviting them over for a helping of spiritual resiliency.
“One of things we want to do is get it out there even more to the sections, offices, squads, teams – get out there because that starts that engagement,” the chaplain added.
Receiving all that coffee was a team effort involving more than just Holy Joe’s and its partners in the coffee and transportation industries, as the chaplaincy received help from some of its Fort Rucker teammates – the Directorate of Public Safety and the commissary – as well, Schnarr said.
DPS helped coordinate getting a late-arriving truck filled with coffee onto post and to the chapel, and the commissary provided a pallet jack and plate to connect the truck trailer to the loading dock at the Spiritual Life Center, the chaplain said.
“Just another example of the Fort Rucker community coming together to make things happen – we have a great community here,” Schnarr said.
For more on the Fort Rucker chaplaincy, visit its website at https://home.army.mil/rucker/index.php/chaplain.