“CHANGING VETERANS LIVES THROUGH BBQ”
Hearty Hog’s Veterans BBQ Camp is a veteran run nonprofit 501c3 organization that is supremely passionate about its mission. We take pride in providing all interested veterans with the opportunity to learn the therapeutic skill of cooking BBQ. This includes but is not limited to everything from selecting the proper cuts of meat, preparing the meat and the most gratifying part, serving it to friends and family. Oh yeah, don’t forget the sides. Sides are an integral part of the BBQ experience and will be covered at the camp.
As a complimentary therapy to help alleviate the mental and emotional effects of the veteran’s military service, it is proven to alleviate stress, help to reintegrate into civilian life and provide a nurturing environment side by side fellow vets. Although our heroes’ hands will never forget the intimate connection with their service weapon, our goal is to help fill that void, utilizing offset BBQ smokers as a positive substitute.
Since 2020, we have taught many veterans the art of “low and slow cooking” however, we are not even close to done yet. Hell, we are just getting started. Many past veteran camp alumni have personally reached out to us, expressing their appreciation, gratitude and love for their BBQ camp experience. Subsequently, we have created a Hearty Hog Veterans BBQ camp network, linking veterans with other veterans, so they can share their new BBQ cooking skillset.
Many camp alumni have applied their new BBQ cooking skills to help others. In August of 2021 after unprecedented flooding devastated parts of Tennessee, several alumni of the Hearty Hog Veterans BBQ Camp deployed with their smokers to Waverly, TN. Led by founder and President Frank Magana along with 20 Hearty Hog Veterans BBQ Camp Alumni, they mobilized in less than 24 hours and convoyed to ground zero in Waverly. The vets fed approximately 450 flood victims, first responders and volunteers free of charge.
Not only did the flood victims, first responders and volunteers express how the Veterans BBQ Camp Alumni helped them, they were able to witness BBQ helping others up close and personal. Many of the veterans who attended previous BBQ camps also come back and serve instructors and volunteers. Passing on the knowledge learned from their individual experience to the next group of veteran campers in turn paying it forward to their fellow veteran brothers and sisters.
Frank and the rest of the board of directors at The Hearty Hog Veterans BBQ Camp take great honor and pride in providing a nurturing, caring and stress-free environment for all veterans to learn and hone their BBQ skills and training. With the ultimate goal of creating an extensive nationwide network of past and present camp attendees for veterans to associate with while building lifelong friendships through the art of BBQ.