Partnering with Runza, AIT-Omaha Delivers a Taste of Home to Troops in Afghanistan
A concerted effort — and a 7,000-mile special delivery — brought a true taste of Nebraska to troops serving overseas at Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan.
One thousand Runza® sandwiches were served in Bagram's Warrior Mess Hall to troops from nearly every U.S. state. The meal gave soldiers from Nebraska a taste of home and for others, it was a first-time opportunity to enjoy the meat-filled sandwiches made famous by the Nebraskan restaurant chain.
Nebraska's congressional delegation and the Greater Omaha Chamber spearheaded the effort to make this special effort for the soldiers. Five Runza® stores in the Nebraskan cities of Lincoln and Omaha made the Runzas® and provided specific freezing and reheating instructions. Meanwhile, AIT-Omaha arranged for shipping containers, packaging and dry ice to keep the Runzas® fresh during the long journey.
"When we heard that our Nebraska soldiers were missing Runzas®, we knew that could not stand," said David G. Brown, President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. "It was a special thrill working with our Nebraska delegation, Runza® and AIT Worldwide Logistics to pull off this delivery."
The Runzas® were baked, frozen, wrapped in foil and placed in four Styrofoam containers, each containing 250 sandwiches and 125 pounds of dry ice. The four containers, weighing a total of more than 1,000 pounds, were driven to Cincinnati, Ohio, loaded on a plane, flown to Bahrain and then to Bagram.
"We are so thankful for the opportunity to work with great partners and bring this dream to reality. The men and women in the Armed Forces work tirelessly, far away from home for months at a time. We hope the troops, whether familiar with the Runza® Sandwich or not, will enjoy a 'taste of home'," said Renee Sjulin, Vice President of Runza® National.
"Being invited to put our special services network and expertise to work for the benefit of our brave military personnel stationed overseas is an honor for all of us at AIT Worldwide Logistics," said Vaughn Moore, AIT's President and CEO. "We owe a debt of gratitude toward our country's men and women in uniform and we thank all of those involved with this project for their dedication and partnership."