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    Troops Supporting Troops

    CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait- United States sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines recently got a little taste of home with cookies donated by Girls Scout of Hudson Valley, N.Y. Many service members walked out of the Warrior Transition Program tent with big smiles on their faces and hands overflowing with boxes of cookies, they were sweet reminders of back home and a huge morale boost.

    Operation Cookie Drop began in the wake of the aftermath of 9/11. Girl Scout communities all over the Hudson Valley (Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester) wanted to show our brave men and women serving this great nation of ours that they have not been forgotten. So they began sending cards, letters and boxes of Girl Scout cookies to as many servicemen and women they could.

    In 2002, the project began with 36 girls and 111 boxes of cookies and has now expanded to 849 girls and 56,000 boxes of cookies. Girl Scouts along with 25 sailors from Fort Dix, N.J. helped package boxes of cookies in preparation for shipment to troops serving overseas. The cookies were donated by customers who wanted to send cookies to the service members stationed overseas. This is an incredible event going into its tenth year. Operation Cookie Drop Coordinator, Alison Bergman stated that, “Hudson Valley residents can’t say no to sending a taste of home to soldiers, sailors and Marines, which results in the tremendous amount of cookies headed over to the troops.”

    Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Molly Gibeau-Griffin, director of Development, writes, “Most importantly, thank you to you and your fellow colleagues for your service to our country. We hope that the cookies provide a little ‘taste of home’ that will go a long way to give comfort and let everyone there know how much we appreciate your dedication and sacrifice.”

    In addition to the 56,000 Girl Scout cookies shipped to Kuwait, 1,000 boxes went to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. for wounded warriors, 2,000 boxes went to Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y. to be flown out to Iraq and Afghanistan and 1,500 additional boxes were sent out by local Girl Scout communities to soldiers from the Hudson Valley serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Forward (NAVELSG FWD) Mike Rotation participated in “Operation Cookie Drop”, by providing logistical support for disbursement of 56,000 thousand boxes of Girls Scout cookies. This mission was the first for Mike Rotation, but not to NAVELSG FWD’s previous rotations, who have taken part in the annual event. The goal – get the cookies to as many troops as possible. Once the cookies were loaded onto a flatbed truck, 13,200 boxes were delivered to the Theater Gateway, an air passenger terminal and U.S. Navy Customs facility, which transports hundreds of troops daily to destinations within theater. While awaiting their flight, troops will have an opportunity to enjoy a sweet treat from home.

    After departing from the Theater Gateway, NAVELSG FWD Sailors traveled to Camp Patriot, located on Kuwait Naval Base, where 4,400 boxes of cookies were dropped-off to hundreds of United States Army, Navy and Coast Guardsmen that are currently are assigned to the base. During the delivery, United States Marines from Camp Pendleton, California were waiting for their ship to pull into port and NAVELSG FWD sailors pulled over beside the U.S. Marines and asked if they’d like some Girl Scout cookies? While passing out boxes of cookies, one U.S. Marine stated, “May I have a box Samoas, I don’t mind if they are melted in this 130 degree weather – they’re Girl Scout cookies!”

    Last stop was Camp Arifjan, where the cookies were placed in the WTP tent and distributed to all the different units assigned to the base. NAVELSG FWD sailors and 1st TSC Army soldiers are worked together to get the cookies out to other troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The Girls Scout cookies are such a treat, one thing that makes it sweeter are the notes and letters tucked in between the boxes. One letter stated, this is a gift of love, hope and happiness, hope you like them. Love, Troop # 2978.

    Another card stated, Dear soldier, Thank you for all you do! You are AMAZING. From Liran/ Made with love by Girl Scout Troop #40756

    The mission was truly a success. Everyone was overjoyed and genuinely appreciated the time and effort the volunteers and girls took to make this happen. Troops in Kuwait are all walking around the base with a box of cookies in hand and smiles on their faces.

    Petty Officer 2nd Class Carlos Mendez, electronics technician, stated, “So many boxes of cookies, we must have received one box from every Girl Scout!”

    Michael Johnson, boatswain's mate chief select stated, “These girls and volunteers are awesome, thank you to all the young patriots who made our day! You are the reason why we are proud to serve.”



    Date Taken: 07.21.2011
    Date Posted: 07.21.2011 04:57
    Story ID: 74051
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW

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