By Army Sgt. Rebekah L. Malone
Special to American Forces Press Service
Nov. 26, 2008 - When soldiers from Louisiana National Guard headquarters and Headquarters Company, 225th Engineer Brigade, received their mobilization orders, thoughts of what they would be leaving behind for the next year ran across their minds.
But thanks to one local company, the familiar aroma of a local morning brew will be going with them. Community Coffee has volunteered to donate the local favorite to Louisiana's deploying soldiers, and this is not the first time.
Army Master Sgt. Danny A. Riggs, a resident of Carville, La., deployed with the 205th Engineer Battalion in 2003. "Community Coffee donated to the 205th when we deployed to Afghanistan," he said. "I was excited to hear that they were willing to provide us coffee this time around as well."
During a deployment, with many of the comforts of home left behind, Riggs said, it is imperative to try and have a part of home wherever the soldier is located to help with morale.
"It was nice to have a local coffee this good and not to have to worry our families with coffee requests to mail it over," he said.
Community Coffee prepared a pallet of more than 650 canisters of coffee ready for the engineers to pick up from a warehouse in Baton Rouge. The coffee will be packed in containers and shipped to Iraq when the 225th deploys after Thanksgiving.
The donation of nearly $3,500 worth of coffee is estimated to make 28,000 eight-ounce cups of coffee.
The Military-friendly business also sends comfort to Louisiana's troops by sponsoring a promotion to match coffee purchased for soldiers called "Military Match."
The idea came about when the corporation heard that the No. 1 item requested by Louisiana troops overseas is Community Coffee and the No. 1 miscellaneous item requested is a microwavable coffee mug.
"If somebody buys a Military Match gift box, they are buying 4 pounds of coffee. We will then match an additional 4 pounds free," said Scott Raposo, consumer direct marketing manager for Community Coffee. "This is just something we feel honored [to do]. We want to demonstrate our support for the troops that are serving our country and protecting our freedoms.
"It's a good thing for us to do," he continued. "We hope it brings somebody a little comfort to have some normalcy in their day having their Community Coffee [while deployed]."
(Army Sgt. Rebekah L. Malone serves in the Louisiana National Guard with the 225th Engineer Brigade.)