Marines yearn for Pierce's sauce
How do you get gallons of barbecue sauce to Iraq? A York restaurant is trying.
YORK -- Some Marines over in Iraq have a hankering for barbecue.
And not just any barbecue. They want Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que. Enough to e-mail the restaurant and ask for some.
BY KIM O'BRIEN ROOT
November 4, 2006
The York County barbecue joint - which has been named multiple times as one of the South's best barbecue restaurants by Southern Living magazine readers - received a request Thursday for some barbecue sauce.
A Marine unit based in Al Asad, an air base in Iraq, recently got their hands on a bottle of Doc Pierce's Bar-B-Que Sauce thanks to a former member of their unit. It was so good, the e-mail explained, they want more.
Problem is, the Marine who had the sauce transferred to a different unit. So they couldn't shake him down for more.
"We've come across some sauces during the months out here, but nothing compared to yours," wrote Sgt. Wesley C. Brown. "Is it possible to get some of that good sauce sent up this way?"
The e-mail included a photo of the Camp Pendleton-based unit - 10 men in desert fatigues and flak vests who all love Pierce's sauce, wrote Brown. He said he's been in Iraq for eight months and has four to go.
Andrea Hutchinson, Pierce's director of operations, saw the e-mail and said it just about made her cry. She immediately set out to find a way to get some sauce from the Rochambeau Drive eatery to the men in Combat Logistics Battalion 1.
"I'm trying really hard," Hutchinson said after contacting the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's office and the Virginia National Guard. "We're all excited about it over here."
On Friday, Hutchinson had a couple of leads, but still not enough of an address to get a shipment out before the weekend. But there are now four gallons of sauce, repackaged in mail-friendly plastic containers and ready to go.
She hopes to get the sauce shipped in time for a big barbecue that Brown said was scheduled for Nov. 10. It's the 231st birthday for the Corps and there's a party planned.
"It's fantastic," said Tracy Della Vecchia, founder of marineparents.com, which sends care packages to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, of the effort to ship the barbecue sauce. "It's amazing. More folks need to do things like this."
Hutchinson said the ordeal might spark something bigger. Maybe get more people to do more for the troops.
In the meantime, she'll wait to get a return e-mail from Brown to get a proper address. She's already included a little note with the jugs of barbecue sauce, which bear the familiar bright yellow-and-orange label.
Take care, she told them.
"And come and see us."