The 21st Theater Sustainment Command Chaplain, Col. Stanton Trotter, knows how to get Soldiers’ attention. He tries to always have candy at his desk, donuts at special events, and hot coffee wherever chaplains are near.
“Many times a Soldier will come for a cup a coffee to a coffee ministry sponsored by a chaplain and pour a fresh cup of coffee, linger over the joy of the libation, and then turn to the chaplain and say, ‘Chaplain, as long as I am here, I would like talk with you about something. Do you have a minute?’” said Trotter.
The 21st TSC chaplains got a boost to their coffee supply last month, from the nonprofit organization Holy Joe’s, which donated 16 pallets of coffee for distribution throughout Germany and forward operating sites in Poland.
Trotter and Holy Joe’s have a decade-long track record, going back to when Trotter was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, and Holy Joe’s supplied coffee for the Spiritual Resiliency Center at Bagram Air Base.
Thousands of free cups of Holy Joe’s coffee are served to U.S. troops in 70 countries throughout the world each day. Holy Joe’s founder and executive director Thomas Jastermsky estimates they have supplied more than two billion cups of coffee to Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Special Forces and the Coast Guard since their modest beginnings in 2006.
“We are happy to be of service through the chaplains,” said Jastermsky. “It’s more than just a cup of coffee. People can connect with the chaplains if they are going through something heavy, and know that it will be confidential. It also lets Service Members know that people back home are thinking of them.”
Jastermsky added that Holy Joes allows individuals and organizations that do not necessarily have a military affiliation, show their support for Service Members and their families. “As a civilian, it’s my way of giving back,” he said, acknowledging the tremendous support Holy Joe’s receives from businesses that share that commitment.
It is a commitment that keeps coffee and conversations flowing.
“Think of the amount of connections this will allow for chaplains to talk with soldiers in many coffee connection ministries,” said Trotter. “Holy Joe’s, and all of the corporations that donate goods and services, continue to be a blessing to our chaplains and Soldiers.”