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Girl Scouts give thanks, cookies to deployed servicemembers

The Girl Scouts with the Inland Empire Council collected more than 9,600 boxes of cookies through Operation Troop to Troop and sent thank you letters April 23 from the Girl Scout Troop 333 near Spokane, Wash. The cookies, along with posters and letters, will be sent to deployed servicemembers to thank them for serving. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Larry Carpenter)

The Girl Scouts with the Inland Empire Council collected more than 9,600 boxes of cookies through Operation Troop to Troop and sent thank you letters April 23 from the Girl Scout Troop 333 near Spokane, Wash. The cookies, along with posters and letters, will be sent to deployed servicemembers to thank them for serving. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Larry Carpenter)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNEWS) -- Girl Scouts near Spokane, Wash., finished their third year of collecting cookies for deployed troops through Operation Troop to Troop April 23 and will be sending approximately 9,600 boxes of cookies to servicemembers fighting the war on terrorism.

More than 2,200 Scouts canvassed more than 52,000 square miles and collected $38,400 for their cookies destined for American forces overseas.

The Girl Scouts took on the challenge to give back to their community and support the troops.

"The goal is to give back to the community and provide a way for the Girl Scouts to appreciate the men and women serving their country," said Kelly Thompson, the Girl Scouts Inland Empire Council product sales manager.

"In addition, they are out soliciting support for our troops in the rest of the community," Mrs. Thompson said. "The Scouts are really proud and feel good about being able to do this for the troops."

"It's nice for the troops to have something from home to take with them," said Tech. Sgt. Carlos Ramossanchez, a 92nd Mission Support Squadron family readiness coordinator. "(The cookies) give the troops a little flavor of home."

At Fairchild Air Force Base, the Girl Scout cookies are distributed to Airmen as they process through the deployment line. They are given a few boxes to take with them, some for themselves and some to give to the person they are replacing at the deployed location. These cookies will make it around the globe to servicemembers supporting operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle and other missions throughout the world.

It's pretty amazing that these young ladies are already learning how to give to others, said Sergeant Ramossanchez, adding that the cookies are dispersed to a wide variety of service representatives.

"We don't keep all of the cookies for ourselves," Sergeant Ramossanchez said. "We share with the other services and Guard components."

Included with the boxes of cookies are notes and letters of support and encouragement from individuals who donated and also from the Girl Scouts themselves.

"On several of the boxes, there were notes (from the Girl Scouts) that stated, 'Thanks for all you do. Hope these cookies make you smile,'" Mrs. Thompson said.

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