Wranglers Judged Food at Bloomin' Temple Festival

By Pfc. Sean McGuire
Public Affairs Specialist
4th Sustainment Brigade

Temple, Texas — The two day Bloomin' Temple Festival brought classic cars and carnival rides for local residents to enjoy under the sun provided by this spring's relaxing weather Apr. 10. It also managed to lasso a few Wrangler Brigade Soldiers.

The fifth annual festival got started by providing carnival rides, car shows, and music for Central Texas natives. On its second day, members of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) joined the fun to serve as judges for a BBQ competition.

Col. Ron Kirklin, the Wrangler Brigade commander, and his wife Phyllis sat in the judge's chairs during the cook off. Such foods as jambalaya, ribs, and sausage were put to the taste test.

The U.S. Junior Chamber in Temple, known as Jaycees, helped set up the festival. The Jaycees are a non-profit organization that gives young people the tools they need to build the bridges of success in their community according to the website.

"My husband knows people from Jaycees and received an invitation to judge and enjoy the festivities," said Maj. Jennifer Paulik. "They wanted us in support of troops because we weren't deployed like in years past."

Lt. Col. Michael Melendez, who sat in for the jambalaya portion, joked that "anytime us Soldiers hear about free food, we are like magnets going straight for the goods."

Other Wrangler judges were Sgt. Maj. Jerry Hernandez and Lt. Col. Jason Kuroiwa, from 81st Adjutant General, 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, along with Sgt. Alisha Duncan and Cpl. Jayme Hestermann from Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

Hernandez patrolled the fair-grounds until his time to judge the ribs portion. Kuroiwa, alongside Melendez, wasted little time in digging into jambalaya. After attacking at least six different variations, he claimed that he could not decipher which beat out the rest.

"They're all so good, I don't think I can really pick one out of all them," Kuroiwa said. Moments later, he pointed to one consisting of beans and sausage and other ingredients. "I think this is the special one right here. I've never had jambalaya like this."

In all, 15 groups competed in the cook off.

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Sgt. Alisha Duncan and Cpl. Jayme Hestermann, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, test the food cooked at a BBQ competition hosted at the Bloomin' Temple Festival in Central Texas Apr. 10. Soldiers from the Wrangler Brigade judged foods prepared by 15 different groups. The food consisted of jambalaya, ribs, and sausage. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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Col. Ron Kirklin, commander of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), marked down his scores for the various assortments of foods he judged during the BBQ competition at the Bloomin' Temple Festival Apr. 10 in Central Texas. Kirklin and other Wrangler Brigade Soldiers accepted an invitation to help at the community's fifth annual festival which featured carnival rides, a car show among, and other things. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

 

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Downtown Temple was the site for the town's two day Bloomin' Festival Apr. 10. The fifth annual festival featured carnival rides, car shows, and a BBQ competition that included members of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) as judges to test out the best in jambalaya, ribs, and sausage. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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Col. Ron Kirklin, commander of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and his wife Phyllis helped determine the best types of jambalaya while acting as judges at the Bloomin' Temple Festival BBQ competition in Central Texas Apr. 10. Kirklin and other members of the Wrangler Brigade represented Fort Hood at the competition. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)