A group of Brazos Valley Marine veterans have kicked off their biannual brisket and barbecue fundraiser to support Marine and Navy FMF Corpsmen in the Brazos Valley through scholarship funds.

Brazos Valley Marine Corps League Detachment 1391 is collecting orders for Operation Meat Ready to Eat (MRE), in partnership with Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q on Harvey Road in College Station.

Detachment 1391 spokesman Thorin Moser said last week that Operation MRE began as a fundraiser internal to area veteran communities but is now large enough that they are seeking donations — in the form of brisket orders — from the public. Moser said that the funds go toward Marine and FMF Corps veterans in the area who are experiencing crises and/or need financial assistance.

“Knowing the needs that our veterans have, we want to do more,” Moser said. “Even if it’s a small thing that we’re helping with — helping them get a bed or helping a bit with school — that’s one less stressor, one less thing that they have to worry about.”

He said that the detachment works with Texas A&M to provide academic scholarship help to Marine veterans, with other partnerships in the works.

“If there are any Marines in the area who need assistance, the Marine Corps League detachment is there for any guidance or support — and for anything at all,” Moser said.

Moser said that in 2011, he and a few other Marines gathered at Messina Hof and decided to start a Marine Corps League detachment. They formally founded Detachment 1391 in spring 2012.

“What we wanted to do is something similar to what the VFW and the American Legion do, which is gather veterans regularly and take care of each other,” he said. 

Moser said that the fundraiser helps the detachment provide fiscal support for other veteran initiatives in the area, including Wreaths Across America and Make a Smile Happen, as well as the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

Moser said that members of the local Marine detachment also take down the seats on the bleachers for Kyle Field season ticket holders at the end of Texas A&M’s football season.

Moser praised Rudy’s for willingly stepping in to work with the detachment in the fundraiser. In the first years of the MRE initiative, detachment personnel cooked the briskets themselves, which Moser said brought a great sense of camaraderie but meant that the fundraiser was limited to the amount of food they could prepare.

“I can’t tell you how much their support has helped us, because with their support, we’re able to offer so many more briskets, because we’re not cooking them,” he said.

The deadline to put in an order for the Operation Meat Ready to Eat fundraiser is Dec. 2. Briskets and other pre-orders can be picked up Dec. 12 at Rudy’s between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

To learn more about Brazos Valley Marine Corps League Detachment 1391 and/or to donate, visit https://brazosvalleymcl.org/.

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