Operation G.I. BBQ is a nationwide effort to bring a little bit of home to our troops in harms way. The only thing worse than missing home is missing some traditional food while living in a hell hole. As good as the military cooks are, they don’t always get the ingredients and equipment they need while in the field.
This effort began when my son Alex was about to be deployed. I started thinking about how lonely and alone he might feel. I knew from personal experience that over time he would find himself missing home and I thought how cool would it be if I could show up some day and bring him some good old fashioned bbq like he grew up with. That’s when it hit me. I’ll just do that. Operation G.I. BBQ was born.
It didn’t take long before a few of my buddies wanted to help out. Guys like retired Lt. Colonel Denny Gillem who now hosts his own radio show called “Frontlines of Freedom” heard nationwide. Then I told my buddy Randy Joppie who is my radio partner in our show called “The Grillin’ Guys” which is heard on stations throughout Michigan. Randy was very excited with the concept and wanted to help out too.
Then I spoke with Pam Bijansky from Operation Injured Soldiers to see if they would partner with us to have a third party handling the money. O.I.S. is a 501c3 and can offer a tax write off for donors. Pam made it happened and help in many other ways.
We need to come up with $53,000.00 to purchase the items needed for one base. That involves a large trailer smoker, and separate pallets of bbq sauce, rubs, charcoal, brisket, and some warm hats. If we get the right folks behind us, if people really help out, we could end up doing additional bases as well. This thing is just starting and the love from Americans is overwhelming. I truly think we can do this.
Dateline: March, 2016. Well as things proceeded, we began to get signs from the military that bringing products like this to overseas hot spots is getting to be too risky, so we shifted our focus to bringing it to guard and regular bases in the U.S. . Now we have trained our focus on two guard bases in Michigan and one permanent active duty base in the U.S. and are seeking clearance to proceed.
We are just about to our financial goal, thanks to many great patriots and the fabrication of the smokers has begun in Kansas City. We are close and to finish off the fund raiser, we are holding a big to do at the Chase Creek Smokehouse on May 14th in conjunction with the giant Blessing of the Bikes in Baldwin, Michigan. The smokehouse is very near the Blessing so the massive motorcycle traffic down U.S. 10 should add to the traffic and fun.
Thanks for checking out our site and please consider climbing aboard before this train leaves the station. We owe a little bit to these awesome men and women from all branches and bringing them a little bit of Americana while they are in a bad place fighting bad people. Comparatively, this is just not a big task.
U.S. Air Force Veteran/Host of The Grillin’ Guys