Who is Hot Dog Harry?
He is fellow Yid and supporter of the troops, Harry Hirschinger. In 1986, Harry set up a non-profit organization called Operation: America Loves You. Their sole mission was to boost morale of troops in the field by throwing them a hot dog party.
Over the years Harry and his team delivered hot dogs (yes, he always supplies kosher ones to those who want them) to smiling troops in Lebanon, Korea, Japan and the former USSR. The team is made up of all volunteers and no one gets paid to perform their mission. They have served over 800,000 hot dogs and given out over one million cards and letters from school children.
Harry and his family fled Nazi Germany during the early years of WWII, eventually making their way to the United States. Harry opened a hot dog vending business in 1979, only to retire 6 years later in order to devote more of his time to supporting the troops. Harry said:
America has given a lot to me, and helping to maintain the morale of our military overseas is my small way of giving something back. My mother always told me that food is love, so I like to bring a little love to our troops who might otherwise might spend a lonely holiday season away from home.
Here are some links to news coverage and correspondance Hot Dog Harry has received over the years:
- USA Today Story
- American Legion Article
- Catholic Times Story
- Local News Station Video (4.6MB)
- Letter of Appreciation from President Regan
Harry has tried to revitalize Operation: America Loves You in recent years to help support troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately he has met a lot of resistance due to security and logistics concerns. Harry is in talks with the USO right now, as they provide the only opportunity to receive funding (and clearance) for an overseas trip. He has run into some red tape with the USO and is patiently waiting for a reply. Harry has even enlisted the help of his congressman to introduce legislation that would allow groups like his to access military flights in support of troops once or twice a year.
If you or someone you know is in any position to help Harry (in any capacity) to bring his delicious dogs to the troops, please .
To top it all off, Harry tells me that a board member has been in touch with two Hollywood studios about “Hot Dog Harry” the movie. That’s right! You heard it here first!