Rocky Fork Enterprise

Feeding a craving

Gahanna Skyline sends chili to Lincoln grad serving overseas

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Ben Bressler (far left), a 2005 Gahanna Lincoln High School graduate who is serving as an Air Force lieutenant, is pictured with (from left) Staff Sgt. Dennis Paxton, Staff Sgt. Michael Gardner, Sgt. 1st Class Todd Kristoff, Lt. Lauren Blanton and Lt. Lauren French while enjoying Skyline Chili meals in Afghanistan.

When 2005 Gahanna Lincoln High School graduate Ben Bressler recently had a craving for chili in Afghanistan, the Stoneridge Drive Skyline Chili delivered.

Bressler, who's a member of the Air Force serving in Afghanistan, told grandparents Dick and Joyce Vandegrift that Skyline Chili was what he missed the most.

The Vandegrifts decided to dine at the Stoneridge Skyline, where Bressler worked when he was in high school.

They shared their conversation with Skyline manager Jeremy DeNelle, who proceeded to give the Vandegrifts everything Bressler would need to enjoy Skyline Chili with his friends in Afghanistan.

"He gave us a pack of four cans, crackers, hot sauce and a T-shirt," Joyce Vandegrift said. "He also gave Christmas ornaments that said Skyline. We saved those so they wouldn't get broken. It was very generous. They were open to helping someone."

DeNelle topped off the gift by expressing his thanks to Bressler for his service to his country.

"One of Ben's buddies knew exactly what Skyline Chili was," Vandegrift said. "They could get hot dogs and spaghetti in the mess hall. They got other stuff and made their meals."

Dick Vandegrift framed a photo of his grandson and the other servicemen enjoying the chili and gave it to the Stoneridge business Nov. 13.

"This time the real manager was there," she said. "The other time it was an assistant. He gave us another package of chili with a cap and other stuff. When he comes home, Ben can take it to Charleston."

Bressler is stationed at Charleston Air Force Base near Charleston, S.C., . He's expected to leave Afghanistan on Dec. 16 and be on base in Charleston on Dec. 20.

He is scheduled to visit Gahanna in January. He's the son of Gahanna resident Marque Bressler.

After graduating from Gahanna Lincoln, he received a degree in engineering from Miami University. He received his Air Force commission at Miami University.

Bressler's wife, Lindsay, also a Miami graduate, is attending the Medical School of South Carolina in Charleston. She's studying to become a pediatrician.