On Super Bowl Sunday, American troops were treated to a Super Bowl staple -- pizza -- every slice traveling more than 6,000 miles all thanks to retired Master Sgt. Mark Evans of Elk Grove. Nine years ago, Evans started Pizzas4Patriots.
"My son was in high school, we were eating pizza and the Iraq War was on the television and he said do they have pizza like this there?" Evans said.
The answer was no. That's when evans decided he would airmail 200 pizzas to the troops. But first he needed permission from the army's top brass so he emailed then-Gen. David Petraeus.
From there, Evans' challenge became logistics. He decided the pizzas would be freshest air freighted in dry ice. But then another obstacle: How to heat them once they got to their destination. The solution: put them on the Humvees.
"That vent gets hot, you just put it on there, and brown the thing, and it's ready to go," Evans said.
Evans' original goal of 200 pizzas turned into 2,000. In the nine years since he launched Pizzas4Patriots, American troops have enjoyed more than 250,000 pies.
He said that veteran officers describe the experience this way: "We just grab our little piece or whatever it is and we just walk away and just sit and think of home. I was crying in front of my guys and they were crying thinking of home."
Evans says Pizzas4Patriots would not be possible without the support of his family and from monetary donations. If you're interested in helping Evans reach next year's goal, please visit sgtpizza.org.