COPPERAS COVE — When Jessica Chartier attended a soldier appreciation event at Domino’s Pizza last year, she was excited to take a break from cooking for her two children while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan.
This year, Chartier said the nearly two-hour wait to make a pizza Sunday was less stressful since her husband was by her side.
“It’s better. The kids aren’t running amok,” she said. “It’s really nice of them to give back to the community. I like it.”
Nearly 1,000 Fort Hood soldiers and their families crowded Domino’s Pizza in Copperas Cove as the chain hosted its ninth Soldier Appreciation Day, where military families take over the kitchen and make their own, free medium pizzas with unlimited toppings.
“It’s very nice of them to think of the families and the soldiers,” said Jessica’s husband, Sgt. Alan Chartier, 59th Mobility Augmentation Company, 8th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade.
About 25 Domino’s Pizza employees from across Central Texas volunteered to serve hundreds of military families.
Ingrid Kiefer, a Domino’s Pizza spokeswoman, said the event provides a fun-filled day to show appreciation to soldiers.
“A lot of people said they stand behind the soldiers,” said Kiefer, who is also the local chain’s liaison to Fort Hood. “We wanted to go ahead and do it and (take) it a step further.”
Kiefer said the free event, which also featured clowns, face painting and live music, cost the company between $4,000 and $5,000 to host.
Bobbi Dameworth brought her two sons to the event.
“Because it’s such a big military town. I think a lot of times (people) don’t put a lot of focus on the military because everybody is military,” Dameworth said. “It’s good that they’re doing it.”