PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A Roxborough man launched Operation Fuel Up to donate coffee to troops to give them a taste of home.
"Would you like it? Thank you. Thank you," said Bernie Strain to a neighbor. There’s a constant stream of people coming to his house with a small but important donation in hand.
"You can put that in the collection," he said. In just two days the community has donated nearly two dozen bags of coffee to help Bernie fulfill the wish of his son Brian. He’s in the Air Force and deployed in the Middle East. It started while they were on video chat. He noticed his son always had a cup of coffee in hand.
"I said how's the coffee and he said terrible. I said what does that mean. He said I'd like some better coffee. What’s a father do when a son is in the Middle East asking for coffee or some comforts of home?"
So Bernie decided to start a mission of his own which he calls Operation Fuel Up to get his son and fellow troops a taste of home.
"He wants Philadelphia, he wants his Eagles and he wants Wawa coffee," said Bernie. He put out a call to his Roxborough neighborhood to help and he says Shoprite has pledged to match the amount of coffee they get in donations.
"Sometimes we forget we still have troops in over 120 degrees everyday over in the Middle East." He says Operation Fuel Up is another reminder to never forget about the men and women who serve. Bernie says collecting coffee is a small task for what his son and others do every day for our freedom.
“It's fun, it's about love, it's about your son, it's about others and it's about our country that we all love," he said.
If you'd like to help with coffee donations or donate to help ship it you can contact Bernie Strain on Facebook, here. He hopes to get enough for the troops to stock up even after his son is back home in six months. He says they’ll accept any brand of coffee.