Plantation, FL and Chicago, IL – June 23, 2014: For most of us, getting a fresh, piping hot pizza pie is as easy as making a phone call – but how do you deliver to the men and women serving in one of the most dangerous places on earth? This Fourth of July, DHL Express and Pizzas for Patriots are once again taking Independence Day celebrations abroad to the U.S. servicemen and women overseas. With a special delivery of 5,000 pizza pies, troops even in the furthest operating bases in Afghanistan will get a taste of home and a reminder of how much their service is appreciated.

Pizzas 4 Patriots, a Chicago-based non-profit organization, was created in 2008 when Retired Master Sergeant Mark Evans and his son Kent had the idea to deliver freshly-frozen, partially baked Chicago-style pizzas to U.S. troops serving abroad to show their appreciation for the troops’ service. Since Pizzas 4 Patriots began working with international shipping specialist DHL Express, Evans and his son have been able to deliver more than one million “slices of home” to U.S. servicemen and women all over the world.

“It’s a huge endeavor but well-worth the effort when I see the looks on the faces of our men and women in combat who received these care packages in the past – it can be an emotional experience,” said Retired Master Sergeant Mark Evans, founder of Pizzas 4 Patriots. “I created Pizzas 4 Patriots to show my support and appreciation for U.S. servicemen and women, and I am grateful for DHL Express’ support in making this delivery possible.”

DHL Express is donating the staff, infrastructure and resources of its global express delivery network to execute this Independence Day mission. Given the scorching Middle East summer heat, the international shipping specialists will work against the clock to ensure the perishable care packages are delivered fresh and in perfect condition. DHL personnel will load the perishable pies onto direct U.S. flights to the Middle East, re-icing the packages along the route and tracking the shipments every step of the way. 

In addition to transportation, tracking and logistics management, DHL Express will work closely with the U.S. military to provide final, door-to-door delivery at the military bases. The pizza will be distributed to various Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan.

“We are honored to leverage our global network and international shipping expertise to support Pizzas 4 Patriots in delivering a reminder of home to the brave men and women that serve our country,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express U.S. “We are pleased that we can do our part to say ‘thank you’ to U.S. troops this Fourth of July.”

Since 2008, DHL has worked with Pizzas 4 Patriots to send more than 144,000 pizzas to U.S. military personnel overseas. This year, Pizzas 4 Patriots introduced “Adopt a VA”, a program that serves a ‘slice of home’ to Warrior Veterans in all 50 states.