2008 Soldier cooks up BBQ

A Soldier Cooks up Q

Reprinted from National BBQ News July 2008


 A little while back you may have read a product review that I wrote on some products from a company called SuckleBusters out of Texas. It was some really good stuff and I reported just that. A short while later Dan Arnold (owner – SuckleBusters) contacted me wondering if I’d be interested in writing about some folks over in Iraq. I replied saying that I would be happy to if he would introduce us.

     Dan told me a little bit about the guy he had been corresponding with and said that I should expect an email from Sergeant Brent Farnsley of the 1st Armored Division. Brent emailed me about two weeks later and asked what he could do to help me with my article about him and his crew. It was one weird interview in that I would email some questions and then wait for two weeks or so to get a reply. I knew he was a little busy protecting our country so I would just wait it out.

     Brent has been married to wife Carol for the past 10 years and is the father of five. He’s been in the army now for eight years and has been deployed to Northern Iraq since September 2007. His section consists of three soldiers, two airmen, and two officers. (SGT Pablo Hernandez, SPC David Ramey, SPC Samuel Engle, SrA Sean McKay, SrA Damiano Leverson, Cpt. David Rich and MAJ Larry Fields)

     The Sergeant said he has always loved cooking and that as a child he would always follow his mom around the kitchen. I guess that’s the way most of us learn the basics but as an adult Brent loves to grill and also tries to barbeque as often as possible. Brent is originally from Peoria, AZ and had been stationed in San Antonio, TX for four years. He fell in love with that fine style of barbeque they have down there and would stop in small towns and go to the local barbeque joints to see how good their “Que” was.

     Brent was shipped to Germany and subsequently to Iraq so it had been quite a while since he enjoyed that savory smoked meat that we all take for granted here in the homeland. One day Brent was walking to work and found a beat up 55 gallon drum grill. Now that had to be by the hand of God because how many deserts have you walked thru and just happen to find a grill. Anyway, he picked it up from the junk pile and carried it to his work area. It had been so long since he had some good barbeque and he had been thinking of ways to keep morale up for his crew so he decided to do something about it.

     He and his men are on a 15 month deployment and he wanted to show them that he really appreciates them. The grill/smoker is just a bunch of junk metal thrown together in a hodge-podge way but it is very functional. The base of the grill is made of junk steal that looks like it came from a bed frame and the grilling surface is made of old grating material and rebar. The best part is the smoke stack. It is an old Hummer exhaust tail pipe. Now that’s class right there.

     Brent says he took some time and cleaned it up and then started his search for some good BBQ seasoning. This is where his connection to Dan Arnold and SuckleBusters come together. Brent said he did “the American thing” and did a Google search for some Texas BBQ Seasonings that could be shipped from the US to Iraq. SuckleBusters was one of the first to come up and as he kept searching, he would inevitably return to SuckleBusters. He thought they looked real tasty so he decided to order some and see if they were as good as they looked. They were so he kept ordering them.

     SGT Pablo Hernandez says that Brent has become their Master Chef and as the picture shows, Brent looks pretty comfortable by the grill. From what I understand, the fellas are eating real good when the grill/smoker is fired up. I’m not sure who Hank Hill is but Brent says Hank would be mad at him for saying “a BBQ is not a BBQ if you’re not cookin’ with charcoal.” Well Hank, whoever you are, I’d have to agree.

     I have sent two boxes of barbeque sauces, rubs and marinades to Brent and his crew so they can continue to enjoy our passion and what has become their little taste of home. Brent says he sure could use some Hickory or Mesquite over there.

     I hope you all have a super 4th of July and please remember all of our military personnel on this holiday and what the date really stands for; our independence. God bless the United States of America and may God bless everyone who puts their lives on the line for us every day. Until next time folks, take care and be safe.

Chattin’ With Red
By Red Todd