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    Service members enjoy simple pleasures in southern Afghanistan

    Service members enjoy simple pleasures in southern Afghanistan

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer | First Lt. Jason D. Ryan pours sugar into his coffee mug at Holy Joe's Cafe at Camp...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Marine Forces Central Command

    CAMP BARBER, Afghanistan — Sometimes it's the simple pleasures in life that can make a difference when deployed.

    Service members carrying out their duties in support of counterinsurgency operations aboard Camp Barber, Helmand province, Afghanistan, can now enjoy the fresh smell of coffee and a relaxing lounge to sip a "cup of Joe" at Holy Joe's Café, April 29, 2009.

    The Camp Barber café originally opened in March, providing free coffee, hot tea and breakfast snacks to service members and civilians serving at Camp Barber, but the moniker "Holy Joe's" isn't an entirely new name to forward-deployed service members.

    The café at Camp Barber derived its name from the Holy Joe's Café project, which was started in 2006 by the First Congregational Church in Wallingford, Conn., as a coffee drive, providing military chaplains in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait the opportunity to further support U.S. service members deployed overseas.

    In an effort to support her fellow service members in what she calls "a little piece of home," Navy Lt. Karen J. Rector, the Combat Logistics Battalion 3 chaplain, collected matted flooring, put up camouflage netting for shade, and gathered benches and tables to give coffee and tea-drinking patrons a comfortable and appealing place to take a break. CLB-3 Sgt. Maj. Danny Duvall volunteered a bit of his spare time and artistry, decorating the café's tables and benches with an eclectic holy-Hawaiian-desert-patriotic motif to make things interesting for the patrons as they enjoy their "cup of Joe" or tea.

    "Coffee in the morning helps you face the adversities that you're going to face that day," said 1st Lt. Jason D. Ryan, the supply officer assigned to Headquarters Company, CLB-3. "If you get a bad cup of coffee, you know it's going to be a bad day," joked Ryan.

    Ryan said his day would be incomplete if he wasn't able to get his cup of coffee and feels it's an important part of his morning.

    "Holy Joe's has the best coffee on Camp Barber," Ryan said. "There are some things in Afghanistan that are always tough, but it should never be your first cup of coffee."

    Coffee isn't the only sustenance provided at Holy Joe's. The café also provides juices, cereal and cold milk and various breakfast foods to start off the day.

    Rector attributes much of the café's success to the donated supplies she receives through the "Adopt-a-Chaplain Program" and the individuals who donate their time and effort to support the troops through the chaplains' services.

    Holy Joe's recently held its official grand opening April 20, 2009, announcing its place in the camp and all that it has to offer. Those who participated in the social event were welcomed with a barbeque picnic, refreshments and a raffle of prizes to top the night.

    Combat Logistics Battalion 3 is the logistics combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force — Afghanistan whose mission is to conduct counterinsurgency operations, and train and mentor the Afghan national police.



    Date Taken: 05.11.2009
    Date Posted: 05.11.2009 02:58
    Story ID: 33444
    Location: CAMP BARBER, AF 

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