Chaplains aim to boost morale with coffee

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brandon Valle
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Airmen travel out to the missile field to man and maintain the Minutman III weapon system each and every day. Security force's defenders travel out to protect the field, maintainers perform vital maintenance to keep the field operational and missileers are on alert 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.

The actions of these Airmen are critical to defending America with the World's premier combat ready ICBM force. The Airmen must be alert and responsive in order to carry out their duties.

The 90th MW chaplain corps has made a plan to increase the morale levels of Airmen traveling to the field and provide a small boost to alertness: a distribution of coffee machines to certain areas Airmen visit before heading to the field.

"The chapel has a multi-dimensional approach to taking care of people," said Chaplain (Capt.) Robert Tilley, 90th MW chaplain. "We tend to peoples' spiritual needs, but we also believe a part of caring for Airmen involves addressing the morale of any given individual. There are a variety of ways that the chapel can go about encouraging and building people up; coffee distribution just happens to be one small way of helping someone enjoy their day just a bit more."

Tilley and Chaplain (Capt.) Thomas Fussell, 90th MW chaplain, are working with the different squadrons to determine the best locations for the coffee and the machines.

"The primary mission is to provide a morale boost to the groups and squadrons who are supporting the base mission," Tilley said.

Fussell said they intend to update some of the outdated coffee machines in the missile alert facilities, but the main focus will be areas around base. 

"We are looking to deliver the supplies to the common areas, such as break rooms, training rooms, mission ready rooms and security forces rooms used before tripping out," he said.

Tilley and Fussell have been working with an organization called Holy Joe's Café in Wallingford, Connecticut. Holy Joe's Café has provided free coffee to deployed chaplains since 2006. Tilley was introduced to Holy Joe's Café during his recent deployment to Afghanistan.

"Holy Joe's went through extensive efforts to help out and care for troops in the deployed environment," Tilley said. "They had supported the chapel mission overseas during my deployment and their efforts led to a small coffee shop type of room in the Craig Joint Theater Hospital on Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan."

The coffee machines and coffee were delivered to Warren March 2, 2015, and distribution around base will begin shortly.

"The chapel and those who have partnered with the chapel sincerely care about the well-being of those serving here at F.E. Warren," Tilley said. "We know that coffee is a simple item, but it's also a small way for us to say thanks for all that you do on a day-to-day basis. If the F.E. Warren Chapel team can do anything to help those serving or their families, we want to make ourselves available."