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30,000 pizzas on way to troops in Afghanistan

What could be the largest pizza delivery of all time departed from left Franklin Park on Thursday.

Some About 30,000 pizzas left DHL Express, 10451 W. Waveland, at 8 a.m. on their way to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The cargo could fill half of a 747 aircraft.

The frozen pizzas were prepared at the behest of retired Master Sgt. Mark Evans of Elk Grove. Evans came up with the idea in the spring of 2008.

“We were sitting at the dinner table on a Friday night,” Evans said. “The war was on TV. My son said, do they have pizzas there?”

Evans thought that was a fine idea. He emailed U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, who then was commanding general of multinational forces in Iraq, who is now the CIA director.

“He answered in 12 hours: I love pizza. Send our guys pizza,” Evans said.

Within five weeks, Evans had formed Pizza 4 Patriots and had raised enough money for 2,000 pizzas. DHL Express, an international shipper, volunteered to ship the pizzas to servicemen troops in Iraq in time for Independence Day.

They ship a growing number of pizzas twice a year — during the Super Bowl and Fourth of July.

Great Kitchens of Romeoville, which prepared the deep-dish pizzas this year, is still figuring out the bill, possibly as much as $300,000.

Mark Lawton

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