Operation Feed the Troops serves Team Dover

  • Published
  • By Roland Balik
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Operation Feed the Troops served a holiday meal to more than 800 members of Team Dover, Dec. 13, 2023.

The 21st year of OFTT, wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the local community and volunteers who served the annual traditional dinner consisting of turkey, stuffing, green beans, corn, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and a variety of desserts and assorted beverages.

Retired U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Robert ‘Bob’ Reese, founder and organizer of OFTT, along with more than 60 volunteers from local businesses, churches, community leaders, veterans and honorary commanders, helped cook and serve the holiday meal for active duty, Reserve and civilian coworkers, as well as family members during two different meals for day and night shift workers.

“I’m very impressed; it’s always awesome to have the community to come out and show how much they care about our Airmen and their families,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Carolyn Russell, 436th Airlift Wing command chief. “The volunteers just taking the time out of their busy schedules to serve, cook the food and to engage with our Airmen is really a special treat and unique that we have in the Dover community.”

When asked, Reese chronicles the concept and history of OFTT that started out as a squadron event and has now blossomed into a base-wide event over the years.

"This goes back when I first joined the military; Mom and Dad used to do the same thing," said Reese. "When I came home for the first time, they told me to bring a couple of friends along."

The following year, Reese’s parents told him to bring more friends and implanted the idea of cooking for the troops for what was to later become the first Feed the Troops Dinner held in 2004.

OFTT offered dine-in or to-go containers for Airmen who were unable to leave their work area.

“I think it is an awesome opportunity to let single Airmen that don’t get to go back home and see their families, to just feel connected with everyone,” said Senior Airman Alexander Hise, 436th Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Dock crew chief.

In all, 109 turkeys were served, along with all the trimmings.