KCK BBQ donates ribs to Veterans Community Project
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two things are known to bring people together in Kansas City: the Chiefs and the barbecue.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Veterans Community Project ensures that these gatherings still take place.
“Like a lot of people here, when I came out 20 years ago, I hit rock bottom myself,” said Matthew Brooks, a veteran and owner and pit master of Charlie’s Pride BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas. “Unfortunately with veterans they kind of go one of two directions when they go out. Either they go up or they go down – and so many of us go down that we don’t get back up.”
Proving that you can actually pick yourself up, Brooks visited VCP on Super Bowl Sunday to pay it to the next one.
“I can show these men and women here that there is opportunity, there is hope,” Brooks said. “We just have to find our mission.”
“It really comes down to what we brand about, which is vets helping vets,” added Wes Williams, Director of Veterans Services at VCP.
On Sunday, Brooks’ mission was to donate 18 to 20 slices of ribs, made with love starting at 3 a.m. Then he personally delivered the barbecue to the veterans doorstep at PCV who are in additional accommodations at a hotel down the street.
“It’s nice to just lay eyes on them and say ‘hey! We see you and we are here for you and today. We can do that on Super Bowl Sunday,” he said.
The visit sends a message to veterans, Williams said.
“To make sure that we are able to make them feel remembered and special and even the smallest of ways by bringing them ribs and sides, I think we have to do that” , Williams said.
And even though Brooks is the one paying for it, what it gives him in return is an indescribable feeling.
“I can’t describe it even now as I sit here and think about it. I’m starting to cry a little knowing where I’ve been and the road I’ve been on,” Brooks said. “It can get better, it will get better. You only have to put this desire; you have to do this job.”
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