Congrats to Kevin Smith of Bossier City. The retired Air Force airman has won a year of free Blue Bell ice cream.

Kevin is one of 8 finalists in the Blue Bell contest. He won with this essay:

While serving our country in my 26 plus year Air Force career, I recall a particularly valiant effort at securing some precious Blue Bell Ice Cream. At the time, I was stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (AFB) in North Carolina. I was an aircrew member flying the F-15E Strike Eagle jet. Occasionally, for training purposes, we got to fly our aircraft to unfamiliar airfields to practice approaches and landings at these airports.


On one particular weekend cross-country jet flight, I managed my last stop prior to returning home to be San Antonio, Texas. We landed for a gas and go at Kelly Air Force Base. While waiting for our refueling, I had a brilliant idea! I decided I would try to surprise my family back in North Carolina by bringing home an unexpected TREAT! I knew in my heart of hearts, that if I were to somehow come home with Blue Bell, I would be a hero to my wife and three boys. Our family so missed our delicious Blue Bell Ice Cream. It was nowhere to be found back in North Carolina.

My father lived in San Antonio and was gracious enough to come to Kelly AFB, pick me up and help me procure the surprise. Just prior to our scheduled take-off for our direct flight home, we decided to stop at a local H.E.B. and pick up three half gallons of our family's favorite flavors of Blue Bell (Homemade Vanilla, Banana Split and Moo-llennium Crunch), put it quickly in a Styrofoam cooler, duct tape it shut and put it into my travel pod and quickly take off and get up to altitude for the flight home.

We planned it perfectly...from store to take-off was a little more than 20 minutes. It would surely stay cold there at 30K feet (-30F) and I was certain it would be rock-solid frozen by the time I was home. I was really looking forward to surprising the family.


Imagine my surprise when I got home, (I) had (made) my wife and kids so excited about the wonderful surprise I had in store for them. They had no idea what I had brought. However, when I opened the cooler…my heart sunk. I forgot to take into account pressure changes at altitude only to realize that the pressure change at altitude would cause the ice cream to implode inside the cooler. All of the ice cream had split through the seams of each container and the only thing left was small, barely pint size helpings of each. Initially, I cried but we all soon laughed about it and YOU BET we ate what remained.

Only my Air Force friends with Texas roots would appreciate the effort… They would have done the same. Blue Bell is by far (not even close) the best there is ... ANYWHERE! I've been all over the world and...I would put our Blue Bell up against any ice cream in the world.


You know how much I love Blue Bell, so I decided to take the next step and propose marriage to Kevin (just for a year), but I found out we had a little problem, his wife Sherry might not be in favor of our culinary bliss. So I get turned down, but Kevin promises to share his Blue Bell!! Listen to our interview with Kevin on KVKI this morning:


Blue Bell received more than 1,800 entries during the month-long contest. Smith and the eight other finalists were awarded a year's supply of Blue Bell Ice Cream along with several other prizes.

Now he's in the running for the grand prize to win a VIP trip to Blue Bell headquarters in Brenham, Texas.

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