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Elise McVeigh

Harvey Goff is a familiar name around the Park Cities, but Steak Team Mission, a non-profit that he started, is not very well known.

For the past 10 years, Goff, of the legendary Goff’s Hamburgers, has been going to remote and hazardous locations around the world to serve a delicious steak dinner to our U.S. Troops.

One of the supporters and participants of the group is Park Cities resident David Eisenlohr. Eisenlohr’s son, Michael, a Highland Park High School and West Point graduate, is now serving our country in the U.S. military. David has been able to serve his son and others through his work with Steak Team Mission. Eisenlohr said, “I have known Harvey Goff for years, and Michael grew up going to Goff’s hamburgers his whole life.  Now that he is overseas, I found a way to take Goff’s to him.”

Goff is a 30-year veteran of the Texas National Guard, and while serving he got to know Tommy Franks, the four-star general who was in charge of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. Goff wanted to be involved and help, so he told Franks he would bring 1,000 steaks to Baghdad. Franks told Goff, “Bring 2,000 and you have a deal.”

Since then, the word has spread throughout the military about Goff’s Steak Team Mission, and he gets suggestions of where his team could serve next. The delicious meals consists of an appetizer—a piece of filet wrapped by a jalapeno and bacon—along with an eight-ounce tenderloin steak, ranch style beans, corn bread and ice cream.

The most rewarding aspect for Eisenlohr has been getting to spend time with his son while on the missions and to see his son’s military experience first hand. He spent 10 days with his son while in Iraq. Eisenlohr said, “I do this because I love soldiers and I want to do something for them. As a volunteer you feel a sense of adventure. Not many people get to hang out with soldiers in a combat zone. It is exciting in addition to being rewarding.” While on the missions they go as close to the action as they can get. Eisenlohr said it has made him a “military want-a-be.”

Dedicated volunteers like Eisenlohr use and raise their own money to fly to the initial destination, and then get on military cargo planes to get to each of the remote and potentially dangerous campsites. The typical cost of a mission is around $50,000, and half of that is the cost of the steaks. The cost to ship the food is $10,000 to $15,000 if American Airlines or FedEx are unable to cover the cost. Eisenlohr said, “The pace has picked up from one a year to three to four missions per year. It is straining the ability to pay for it. Steak Team Mission has a small group of volunteers, so we need to figure out a better way to raise money to make it happen.”

What is next for volunteers like Eisenlohr with Steak Team Mission? “I hope I can twist Harvey (Goff’s) arm to go to Afghanistan when my son is there,” replied Eisenlohr. If you are interested in helping making it easier financially for Steak Team Mission volunteers you can make a donation on the site by CLICKING HERE.

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