Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the country — its foundation predates that of the United States by nearly 100 years. The historic city is the birthplace of the Marine Corps and was home to the first brigades of professional firemen.
After time in the military, many service members find a career in firefighting, as it reflects some similar characteristics to being on active duty, like brotherhood and a sense of adventure. Like the military, firefighting puts individuals into uncontrollable situations that can wear them down, both emotionally and physically.
But Marine veteran and South Philly firefighter Bill Joerger uses his culinary talents to help his men combat the stress of their everyday environment.
Bill Joerger hard at work as he prepares to combat local fires that ravage through the "City of Brotherly Love." (Source: Meals Ready to Eat, KCET)
After a catastrophic heart condition, Joerger exited the Marine Corps and spent months bedridden in the hospital, recovering.
Throughout his lengthy treatment, Lt. Joerger watched a variety of cooking shows that sparked his culinary interest. Lt. Joerger explains,
Being in the military and [having] the heart issues, I had no control over those situations. But for cooking, I have complete control.
Bill prepares yet another tasty meal for his firefighting brothers. (Source: Meals Ready to Eat, KCET)
Joerger enjoys cooking for his firefighting brothers, and it gives him the means to express himself and find catharsis.
Although Bill is an officer, he doesn't allow his rank to stop him from serving up one incredible meal after another for his troops.
The only thing that stops Bill from cooking in the firehouse is when a fire breaks out.
Check out the fifth full episode of We Are The Mighty's original show, Meals Ready to Eat, below and watch how this Marine veteran uses his cooking skills to provide a special boost in morale.
New episodes of Meals Ready to Eat are posted on KCET's site every Wednesday night. And they're awesome.