|Like many businesses, Bobby Salazar's helped the community with efforts right after 911 (2001). But Bobby's did not stop there. During Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in 2003, U.S. troops were sent to Afghanistan to tackle the Taliban issues and restore order to the Afghanis. A Fresno/Clovis based aviation service unit was one of the military companies deployed. Delta Co. 140th Aviation, was the name of that unit (www.warriorswithwrenches.com). |
The soldiers missed home, and all the comforts of home including going out to Bobby Salazar's for meals. They decided to create their own "homestyle" Christams Holiday buffet in Afghanistan -- but they would need help. This is where Bobby Salazar's and other friends of soldiers came in. One of the soldiers contacted Bobby via email and told him of their plans to create their own holiday fiesta thousands of miles from home. They needed cooking supplies and goods to do it. They also wanted a poster of the restaurant and the employees to remind them of home. Bobby was happy to provide as much as possible, which was not easy since it had to be shipped so far.
After a lot of organizing, care packages from Bobby Salazar's reached the soldiers in Afghanistan. It was the beginning of a great feast. They had oil, cornhusks, jalapenos, spices and many other items needed to create a great tamale dinner that served not just the one unit, but several other units that surrounded them.
It was an unexpectedly pleasant holiday for the soldiers thanks to Bobby Salazar's and other businesses like his (considering the distance between them and their families back home). Plus, there was enough canned goods from Bobby to keep future meals spicy and tasty for awhile too.
Eventually, the deployed unit's time to come had arrived, and they wanted to thank Bobby. On Sept 10, 2004, Bobby hosted a party for the returning unit and their family members at the Downtown Clovis location. Again, as in Afghanistan, Bobby's food and service played a big part in supporting military morale as well as family and community support. Bobby was given several awards, plaques and momentos of appreciation from military leaders of the unit.