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Chicago-style pizzas headed to Mideast

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CHICAGO, June 25 (UPI) -- U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will get a taste of Chicago this Fourth of July when thousands of frozen deep-dish pizzas from Lou Malnati's arrive.

Air Force veteran Mark Evans of suburban Elk Grove Village has made arrangements to send 3,000 of his favorite Chicago-style pizzas to the Middle East in time for Independence Day, The Arlington Heights Daily Herald reported Wednesday.

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The newspaper says since Evans first hatched the idea of "Pizzas 4 Patriots" with his son, Kent, 16. He says he has received an outpouring of support for the project. He's even heard from the campaigns of the two presumptive presidential nominees, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

Evans is a die-hard Lou Malnati's fan who even persuaded Caroline Kennedy to try a Malnati's deep dish when she was in Chicago for a book signing.

DHL Global has volunteered to ship the pizzas free of charge, Evans said.

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