Ruan to help National Guard ship Iowa sweet corn to troops

| 8/5/2003

The Iowa National Guard is bringing a little taste of home to service members stationed overseas in the Iraqi theater of operations. With the help of Des Moines motor carrier Ruan Transportation, Iowa residents and businesses, U.S. soldiers will be having a sweet corn feed in the sand dunes of Baghdad next week.

"We're always trying to come up with ideas about how we can bring a little bit of home to our troops stationed overseas," said Sgt. Bob Steffes with the 133rd Test Squadron located in Fort Dodge, IA. "We had this idea to send one cooler of corn to a few of our squadron members stationed in Baghdad and made a few phone calls to see if it could work, and everyone was so excited about supporting our troops that it just took off."

Ruan Transportation Management Systems, Garst Seed Co. and Kum & Go, headquartered in Iowa, along with the Fort Dodge, IA, Wal-Mart, pooled their resources to help the Iowa National Guard collect sweet corn with all the fixins' and transport the corn to Charleston, SC.  On Wednesday, Aug. 6, the sweet corn will be flown to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and then to Baghdad, where troops will unload the sweet corn and deliver to the service members stationed in the region.

"We're really excited that Ruan, Garst, Kum & Go and Wal-Mart are helping us to send a little bit of Iowa to Baghdad," said Steffes. "This couldn't have happened without their support."

Garst Seed Co. donated 200 bushels of sweet corn, Ruan Transportation Management Systems donated the logistics and transportation, Wal-Mart donated butter, salt and pepper and Kum & Go donated coolers. In addition, local residents, businesses and a radio station in Fort Dodge donated additional coolers and ice for shipping and wrote letters of support for the troops.

The sweet corn send-off was scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Fort Dodge. Local residents and business were set to be on hand to meet the Ruan truck and help prepare the sweet corn for travel.