Gary Brownsberger

Jun 27, 2024 | Volunteer Spotlights

The Rod Cramer Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies volunteerism and is recognized for their outstanding contributions to Operation BBQ Relief. This year’s recipient, Gary “G5” Brownsberger, was chosen due to the heart, work ethic, friendship, and respect he demonstrates every day.

“Volunteering is something I’ve done for years now.  It gives me a sense of purpose,” Gary said.

Gary began volunteering with us in 2022.

“I’m disabled and live in a camper year round. I travel the country. I was headed down to Florida to help after Hurricane Ian hit Port Charlotte when a friend suggested I link up with OBR. I registered to volunteer and ended up staying for 5 weeks,” Gary said.

From that point onward, Gary was hooked on Operation BBQ Relief.

“I’ve worked with a lot of different charities in the past and I’ve seen a lot of waste and a lot of people really not getting helped as much as the organization could have,” Gary said. “With OBR, I don’t see any of that. I see the clear, conscious decision to try and make the most out of every dollar that is donated, which really matters to me.”

Gary, who is a U.S. Army veteran, has also helped out extensively at Camp OBR, our retreat on Lake of the Ozarks dedicated to serving military service members, veterans, first responders, families of fallen heroes, and their loved ones.

“After the deployment to Port Charlotte ended, I was invited to help out at Camp OBR. I buy completely into the idea that veterans are my sisters and brothers,” Gary said. “So when they asked me if I would help create a camp to help out other veterans, the answer was obviously yes. It just didn’t seem like there was a choice.”

Gary said that volunteering with Operation BBQ Relief has helped him find healing.

“I suffer from a great deal of pain and have for many years. That pain has also caused depression to take hold of me at various times. Before OBR, I was in a very dark place with no purpose. OBR and the people within OBR have helped me turn that all around,” Gary said.

Gary said that Camp OBR will help others in the military and first responder communities.

“I went down to help Camp OBR as a volunteer. I did not expect to find Camp OBR was there to help me work through so many things, and it continues to do so. It’s the perfect place to help people work through their issues and get refocused,” Gary said.

To learn how you can join our volunteer family, download the “OBR Volunteers” smartphone app or visit


Join the #iamOBR movement with a tax deductible monthly contribution where you can select donation options to help support Operation BBQ Relief.


Operation BBQ Relief relies solely on volunteers like you. Whether you are a competition BBQ team, caterer, restaurateur or simply an individual or group wanting to help when disaster strikes, we want you to be a part of this rewarding experience in helping people.