Original Java: Buy good Coffee and Support the Troops through Project DUSTOFF
“I don’t believe in coincidences . . . I believe in the curly ‘q’ whimsy of fate. After all, everything’s connected”
Sam Tyler (character) Life on Mars
A few weeks ago while at the unit, I held the door for SFC Rick Simmons. My eyes were immediately drawn to his combination Army Aviation Badge, and Combat Medical Badge. Of course, I had to ask, and in the process made the acquaintance of a fellow former Army Flight Medic who flew in support of OIF not once, but twice.
Although his story of quiet heroism isn’t necessarily rare, what he did in his downtime on deployment is. When he wasn’t flying in to provide medical care, SFC Simmons and CPT Pete Huggins created Original Java, a coffee shop in the middle of Iraq.
Rick and Pete flew lifesaving MEDEVAC missions throughout the Iraqi desert. They also shared a common goal; to boost morale and provide respite from the daily grinds of war. Their vision, “Original Java”, became an oasis in the desert, an espresso cigar bar serving coffee, frozen smoothies, and a much-needed dose of sanity. Now back stateside, “OJ” has evolved into an e-commerce coffee shop adorned with “Project Dustoff”. “OJ” is a small family-owned & operated e-commerce business offering superior gourmet, organic, fair trade coffees and teas.
Their story is an incredible example of soldier ingenuity and creativity. The impressive part is that they have brought the spirit of Original Java home with that same ingenuity creating Project DUSTOFF, which is dedicated to helping wounded service members and their families. Part of the proceeds from every bag of Project DUSTOFF coffee goes to the cause.
It isn’t a stretch to see why the spirit of their company is close to my heart. Anyone who has sacrifice for my freedom, supports soldiers, the DUSTOFF community, and sells coffee from my home state deserves a post, a link on my sidebar, and my gratitude.
I consider myself fortunate to have run into SFC Simmons, and excited to be witness to the broad reach that his time in Iraq will have on the Army community, lasting much beyond his tours overseas.
Oh, and I no longer believe in coincidences.
A brief history of DUSTOFF.