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How Buffalo Wild Wings Supported a Team Member Serving in Iraq

By Raj Prashad

Shelby Hoffman always knew she’d serve in some branch of the military. She credits the movie Top Gun for helping her make up her mind on joining the Navy once she was out of high school.

Her military service took her all over the world, serving as a jet engine mechanic in Sicily, Puerto Rico, France, Guam and Chile. After six years, she moved to the Navy reserve and enrolled in college, opting to follow a new route into hotel and restaurant management. As Shelby explains, she always loved Buffalo Wild Wings, so it was a natural fit when she took on an assistant manager role after college.

Related: Buffalo Wild Wings in Fishers, Indiana, Honors Fallen Heroes

Mere months into her new job at Buffalo Wild Wings, Shelby got the call that she was to be deployed yet again, this time to Camp Bucca, Iraq, as a prison guard performing detainee operations.

“I heard some horror stories from my unit and my sailors about their experience with other employers, but I never had any issues here.


It was a smooth process with Buffalo Wild Wings.” Shelby Hoffman, POS Menu Manager, Buffalo Wild Wings

Shelby served in Iraq for 11 months, and despite not spending much time at Buffalo Wild Wings before leaving to serve her country, she was surprised by the support and outreach she received from her fellow team members while deployed.

Shelby Hoffman worked at Buffalo Wild Wings while serving in the Navy

Shelby Hoffman received care packages from her Buffalo Wild Wings team members while serving in the Navy in Iraq.

“I was still pretty new to Buffalo Wild Wings, so it was nice that they took the time to reach out and see how I was doing,” Shelby said.

“I figured I would hear from my team members once or twice, but they really kept in touch throughout my time in Iraq and sent me care packages with Buffalo Wild Wings sauces. Everyone absolutely loved the sauces and would ask me as soon as we ran out when we’d be getting more.”

Shelby returned to work at Buffalo Wild Wings shortly after coming home, and she jumped right back into training. Over the years, she’s moved from the restaurant into Buffalo Wild Wings corporate offices while continuing to fulfill her duties with the Navy reserve in Minneapolis.

Related: Buffalo Wild Wings Honored by the U.S. Department of Defense

After 22 years, Shelby plans to retire from the Navy in March, but she will continue her work at Buffalo Wild Wings. As Shelby reflects on her time in the military, she’s grateful for Buffalo Wild Wings flexibility and the brand’s dedication to supporting military members inside and outside its restaurants.

“It is unique to find an employer that truly supports their service members and helps them.” Shelby Hoffman, POS Menu Manager, Buffalo Wild Wings

Congratulations to Shelby on more than two decades of service in the Navy.

Shelby Hoffman in the Navy

Shelby Hoffman serving in the Navy.