A veteran who lives outside of Chicago is sending hundreds of deep dish pizzas to troops overseas for Super Bowl Sunday.
Master Sgt. Mark Evans (USAF, Ret.) sends Chicago deep dish pizzas to American troops in the Middle East every year for the Super Bowl and July 4, Fox News reports. Evans' organization, Pizzas4Patriots, has been operating for eight years.
The non-profit sends half-baked pizzas to the Bagram Air Base, where privately paid for helicopters are used to deliver the pizzas to troops throughout Afghanistan. The recipients then use their innovation to find ways to heat the pies: one method is to use the heat from Humvee engines.
Evans got the idea for the program about eight years ago on July 4 when he was watching the news and eating pizza with his son. Evans explained to his son that the troops overseas weren't eating pizza, but "Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)." He then got in touch with Gen. David Petraeus, and said that he wanted to send 2,000 pizzas to troops in Iraq.
"I just like to see smiles on soldier’s faces and the stories I hear are incredible," Evans told Fox.
Since 2008, approximately 170,000 pizzas have made their way to the Middle East with more on their way. Eight hundred Pizzeria Uno pies will be delivered to soldiers this year.
"There’s no better feeling than paying it forward," Evans said.