Every day hundreds of Soldiers arrive at all hours of the day and night from flights around the world to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Their first stop is the Theater Gateway, an area where 1st Theater Sustainment Command Soldiers greet them and do the initial theater processing paperwork before coordinating their travel to areas throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
Before the hard work of Spc. Brittany Engels, a religious affairs specialist with the 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, the only thing available to Soldiers was refrigerator full of water and whatever left over care packages were at hand to go through.
Engels said when she saw the tired, bleary-eyed Soldiers coming in – most of whom had travelled for 24 hours or more – she thought they could use a little more than just water.
“We had this trailer, and it wasn’t getting put to use and I thought it would be nice since it was so close to the gateway to have a place for the Soldiers to stay and get something nice to drink when they flew in,” Engels said.
From there, her plan grew. With some long days and nights cleaning, moving furniture, replacing lights, gathering spare unused care packages and restoring the internet to the building, the Bean of Life started to take shape.
“When we first walked into this trailer, it was empty and full of dust,” Engels said. “We spent three weeks cleaning it and getting it ready; it took me quite a while to find a couch to put in it.”
The Bean of Life opened Oct. 25, 2019. In the two weeks that it has been operating, over 500 Soldiers have signed in and used the services it provides.
“It’s amazing to see that people come here and hang out in groups,” Engels said. “We even have a couple of regulars that stop by.”
All the items found in the Bean of Life are donated by care packages from different organizations around the United States.
“Specialist Engels designed everything and found the help to clean the place up,” said Capt. Daniel Biegger, a chaplain with the 102nd Chaplain Detachment.
Engels said her hard work was worth it.
“After seeing how much it changed it’s rewarding to see so many here now.”
|Date Posted:||11.09.2019 14:18|
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