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NEWS | Jan. 10, 2024

Chaplains bring fresh joe to Joes on Joint Base

By Sgt. 1st Class Deziree Lau 99th Readiness Division

“While a cup of coffee may seem like a small thing, it provides a means for service members and civilians to open doors and spark conversations with chaplains and religious affairs professionals,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Hurt, Joint Base senior chaplain, 87th Air Base Wing.

“During a 2009 deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, I encountered Holy Joe’s,” Hurt continued. “They provided coffee for our location’s medical facility and our wing. As a chaplain, I was able to distribute coffee to all units occupying Kandahar, and also made trips to locations in the area of responsibility to share coffee with units who didn’t have access to the same resources.

“We would brew some, then talk to people while they took a quick break from the chaos and enjoyed a cup. It was amazing to see how much it cheered folks up to have some good-quality coffee in some pretty austere conditions,” he added.

When Hurt arrived here, he reconnected with his Holy Joe’s Café contact who asked if the Red Cross on base would like some coffee. So began the coordination efforts with Red Cross and Hurt’s Army and Navy chaplain counterparts.

At the culmination of Holy Joe’s Café’s generosity, the Red Cross received over 14,000 cups of coffee to share among personnel here. Their generosity goes back to 2006, when the company made, “serving a little of home to those who serve our country” part of their mission.

“I’ve had multiple people across base asking for coffee,” shared Hurt. “As chaplains, we often deal with people going through painful or difficult times. If we can make someone happy with something like coffee or hot chocolate or anything of that nature to bring a smile to their face amidst a stressful or uncertain time, it’s a good day!

“We are so fortunate to be the only tri-service joint base,” Hurt explained. “I get to work alongside Army and Navy Chaplain Corps personnel every day. I want to keep that my focus and find more ways to work together.”

Holy Joe’s Café has been sending free coffee to U.S. military bases around the world, essentially helping open over 300 coffee houses primarily in the middle East but also in places such as Africa, Europe, on Naval ships, and in North Atlantic Treaty Organization military hospitals.