Restaurants offer thanks to soldiers

FORT BRAGG So as they wait at Pope Air Force Base's Green Ramp the Army takes care of the soldiers, but the Red Cross says it wants to do more.

The pack shed is where soldiers wait until they board planes for what could be weeks or months of duty in Haiti.

The wait normally includes grabbing some shut eye on a cot.

"That wait can actually go up to 48 hours," Fort Bragg Spokesman Col. Steven Sicniski said. "It all depends on what the airflow is like based on the requirements of the Joint Task Force commander in Haiti."

But the Red Cross has asked restaurants in Fayetteville and Spring Lake to donate meals for the troops - and the response has been overwhelming.

"We've had lasagna to fried chicken to barbecue, to Chicken Marsala, to sandwiches, hot hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos … you name it, we've had it," Red Cross Spokesman Mike Russell said.

Luigi's Italian Restaurant is one of more than 30 establishments that responded.

"I mean, these guys are helping all these people in need and all they need is some food to feed these guys and it's nothing to it man, no questions asked," Luigi's Restaurant owner Nick Parrous said. "So I said, 'when can you come and get it.'"

The Red Cross picks up the food and the troops say they love it.

"They got some lasagna, some bread, some cinnamon twist," A1C Mitchel Bordley said. "I don't know where Taco Bell came from, but that's a good thing. That's my favorite.

The list of restaurants that responded include fast food chains and family owned mom and pop operations.

The Red Cross says they hope the generosity continues as long as we have troops deploying.

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