Pizza 4 Patriots

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Chasity Johnson
  • 183rd Public Affairs
They say "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." But for many troops, an occasional slice of pizza keeps morale high.

Inspired by his son's idea to send pizzas to troops serving overseas for Independence Day in 2008, Retired Master Sgt. Mark Evans, former member of the 217th Engineering Installation Squadron, created a non-profit organization called Pizzas 4 Patriots designed to give deployed military members serving on the front lines, as well as many troops in Veteran Affairs hospitals, a "slice of home."

Funded solely by donations, Pizzas 4 Patriots procures pizzas at cost from Gino's East, one of Chicago's most notable pizzerias.

DHL, the military's largest civilian transportation contractor donated their services to the organization, and agreed to ship the pizzas overseas for free.

From there, Evans contacted a few of the military's top generals to help transport the pizzas to forward operating bases, where troops rarely get hot meals.

According to 1st Lt. Holewinski, AIS Intelligence Officer, the response from the troops were amazing. "They would say things like 'This pizza is like a slice of home' and 'Deep dish pizza is the last thing I would expect to be eating in a place like this.'"

Pizzas 4 Patriots currently holds the world record for shipping over 10,000 pizzas in 2008 for Independence Day. This year they were able to provide over 2,000 pizzas to deployed troops for Super Bowl XLIV with the help of 217th Engineering Installation Squadron members Chief Master Sgt. Jim Pearson; retired Chief Master Sgt. John Adams; Senior Master Sgts. Kevin Keyfauver and Rudy Stonitsch; Master Sgt. Mike Eddy; along with 1st Lt. Thomas Holewinski.

Since the inception of Pizzas 4 Patriots, Evans has become a world celebrated philanthropist. He can frequently be seen as a guest on major television networks including ABC, NBC, WGN and Fox Chicago and on news programs like "Fox and friends" and "Good morning America."

He was also given the honor of recently meeting with Vice President Joe Biden.

Lt. Holewinski says Pizzas 4 Patriots plans on surpassing their currently pizza-shipping record this year on Independence Day, providing more smiles and further raising the morale of our troops.

For more information about Pizzas 4 Patriots visit