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Archive for September, 2008

Compassion Rations

This is an account of one of the many times Outback Steakhouse has served those who serve in our military in the war zones:

"For troops in Kandahar, comfort is an Outback meal delivered on a C-17.
But for those traveling to prepare the meal, it’s a nerve-wracking mission.

The rumor started about a month ago. It spread through the 101st
Airborne Division in Afghanistan like a dust storm in Kandahar. Nobody
really believed it, because it sounded too good to be true.

The Outback Steakhouse people were coming. And they were bringing food .
. ."

Thus began an article that ran in the 2 July 2002 issue of
the /St. Petersburg Times/ and which has subsequently come to land in
many an

inbox.

On 19 June 2002, fifteen Outback Steakhouse
(an
international chain of Australian-themed restaurants) employees worked
with military personnel in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to cook and serve
ribeyes and bloomin’ onions to members of the 101st Airborne Division
stationed in that desolate region. Temperatures hit 117°F that day, and
the fifteen civilians wore water-filled backpacks called "camelbaks
" to keep themselves hydrated.
It took those fifteen Outbackers three days to reach Kandahar from the
United States (travel into war zones is a tricky affair), but once they
arrived the U.S. troops were served the best meal they’d had in a long
time.

The folks from Outback brought 6,700 steaks, 30,000 shrimp, and 3,000
giant onions with them. Broccoli, rolls, french fries, and cans of
O’Douls (a non-alcoholic beer) completed the meal. For dessert, Jeff’s
Gourmet Pies of Tampa donated 6,600 slices of cheesecake.

This is good eating even to those who haven’t spent months chowing down
on little else but powdered eggs and T-Rations. For the troops in the
field, it was manna from heaven.

Source: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/outback.asp
Sources:/

Lush, Tamara. "Heaven in Time of War: 6,700 Ribeyes."
/St. Petersburg Times/. 2 July 2002 (p. A1).

Meadows, Andrew. "Outback Takes Feast to Forces."
/The Tampa Tribune/. 2 July 2002 (Moneysense, p. 5).

/The Topeka Capital-Journal/ "A Bloomin’ Treat."
8 July 2002 (p. A4).

Father, son rescued after more than 12 hours in Atlantic

Father, son rescued after more than 12 hours in Atlantic

    Story Highlights

  • Son swept out to sea by currents, father jumped in after him
  • At some point, father and son were separated by three miles
  • Father: "We were floating and just waiting for help to come"
  • Boater finds father, Coast Guard rescues autistic son two hours later
By Mallory Simon
CNN

A father and son who tread water for more than
12 hours in the Atlantic Ocean before being rescued spent much of the
time in the dark seas not knowing if the other was alive, authorities
said Monday.

Walter Marino, 46, and his son Chris Marino, who has
autism, were swimming in the Ponce Inlet, south of Daytona Beach,
Florida, on Saturday when currents pulled the 12-year-old boy out to
sea.

His father jumped in to try to save Chris but was also pulled out to sea.

Family members called 911, but by the time rescue units arrived, the father and son could no longer be seen, officials said.

The
U.S. Coast Guard, the Volusia County Beach Patrol and the sheriff’s
office immediately launched a search-and-rescue mission using
helicopters, boats and personal watercraft to try to find the Winter
Park father and son.

"[We
were] floating," Walter Marino told CNN affiliate WKMG-TV after the
rescue. "We were floating and just waiting for help to come." Watch the father thank rescuers »

Hoping
to find the pair alive, the Coast Guard searched from Saturday night
until early Sunday morning before suspending the search because of
darkness, Coast Guard officials told CNN.

Coast Guard officials
told Lt. j.g. David Birky that he would be part of a backup crew to
relieve the team from the night before. Birky told CNN the crew was set
to do a search when the sun came up, but received a call while they
were en route that a good Samaritan boat found Walter Marino about 7:30
a.m.

Birky, the co-pilot of the crew, told CNN that after the
father was found, they began searching that area for his son. Chris
Marino was found two hours later, three miles from where his father was
rescued.

The Coast Guard lifted the boy into a helicopter, and both father and son were taken to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where they were in good condition. Both were treated for dehydration, according to WKMG-TV.

"The
Coast Guard rocks," Walter Marino said as he was being transported to
the hospital, according to WKMG-TV. "God bless the Coast Guard."

While Walter Marino praised the Coast Guard for its rescue efforts, Birky said the true praise goes to the father and his young son.

"That
kid is an amazing kid," Birky said. "To tread water for almost 14
hours, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could do that. They
have amazing willpower to be able to do it."

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