America Supports You: America Swaps Cookies, Supports Troops
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va., Dec. 11, 2006 – More than 17,000
cookie-swap parties took place Dec. 9 during the “Great American Cookie
Swap” to benefit “Treat the Troops,” but only one was “Road Tasted.” |
Both DuPont Teflon, which sponsored the event, and Treat the Troops are
members of America Supports You, a Defense Department program
showcasing Americans’ support for the nation’s servicemembers.
Slocum, 5, hands Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Melvin, a tin of cookies her
Daisy Girls Troop 224 from Marine Corps Base Quantico’s Ashurst
Elementary School had just packed. The eight girls in the troop helped
package more than 100 dozen cookies Dec. 9 before they delivered them
to Marines living in the barracks on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.,
as part of the Great American Cookie Swap sponsored by DuPont Teflon.
Photo by Samantha L. Quigley '(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Jamie and Bobby Deen, hosts of the Food Network program “Road Tasted,”
made an appearance at the cookie swap Melissa Lewis held at her home
here. The brothers are Great American Cookie Swap ambassadors and were
on hand to sign autographs and lend their advice and support.
“It’s a tough fight for our men and women on the ground over there, and
… you know that families here are missing them; they’re missing their
families,” Jamie Deen said. “To receive something like a great
fresh-baked cookie just gives them a little taste of home.”
More than just sending a little piece of home to troops overseas, the Great American Cookie swap had a broader effect.
“This is a multifaceted (event),” Deen said. “It helps kids learn to
appreciate and recognize the sacrifice that (servicemembers) make.
“Every way you look at it, this is just a super positive project,” he added.
For every party registered with DuPont, the corporation is making a
donation to Jeanette Cram’s “Treat the Troops” organization. Treat the
Troops is a troop-support organization that sends homemade cookies and
other comfort items to servicemembers overseas. Just in November, Treat
the Troops sent more than 11,000 cookies to the troops, and postage to
ship that many cookies doesn’t come cheap.
“Locally, we spend at least $1,000 a month,” Cram said. That doesn’t
take into account what her nearly 50 “crumbs,” as her volunteers are
known, around the country spend.
DuPont’s donations will help Cram prepare and send cookies to those serving overseas for an entire year.
“With the generous contribution from DuPont, our member organization,
Treat the Troops overcomes its greatest program challenge -- postage,”
Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal
communication and public liaison, said. “DuPont’s commitment makes it
possible for Treat the Troops to focus exclusively on what it does best
to boost the morale of our soldiers ¬-- bake, package and ship
great-tasting cookies to our men and women in uniform serving
Cram said the donation will be a tremendous help in getting cookies to
as many servicemembers as possible. “It means I don’t have to go out
and beg for money,” Cram said, praising America Supports You for
bringing “a little small group and a huge corporation” together.
“That’s what America is about. It’s about corporate and government and
people … coming together for one goal -- the never-complaining
While Treat the Troops takes care of those serving overseas, Melissa
Lewis’ party took care of Marines living in barracks on Quantico. She
noted that many troops are away from loved ones this holiday season
even if they’re not in Iraq or Afghanistan.
“Believe it or not, we have a lot of guys here. We actually even have
international soldiers here,” she said, referring to foreign soldiers
who attend training here. “It kind of shows them (that) local, U.S.,
foreign (military), it doesn’t matter. We’re all family. We’re all
As a Marine wife, Lewis knows first-hand what small thoughtful acts,
like sending some homemade cookies, can mean to those overseas.
“There’s times when these guys, they’re out there and when they’re in
certain areas they may not get mail for weeks at a time,” Lewis said.
“So for them to open up a package and see fresh homemade cookies, …
it’s that connection to home and they don’t feel so alone out there.”
Lewis had a little help packaging the more than 100 dozen cookies that
were dropped off at her home. Her daughter’s Daisy Girl Scout Troop
224, from Quantico’s Ashurst Elementary School was on hand to offer
The eight 5-year-olds helped stack tins and plastic containers of
cookies. Some of the girls had spent part of their Friday evening
helping to bake cookies.
“I decorated them and got all messy,” Hailey Rathbun said. “(The Marines) don’t have families to make them cookies.”
By 4 p.m., all that was left was to load the cars and hand out the tins
of holiday cheer, which the Marines in the Quantico barracks were all
too happy to receive.
“It’s something that’s so simple, yet so thoughtful,” Marine Lance Cpl.
Christopher Dowling, who is assigned to Quantico, said. “This is a good
thing,” Marine Lance. Cpl. Matthew Melvin added.
|Military Connection's Comments:
Treat the Troops program and DuPont Teflon sponsored the “Great American Cookie Swap.” Hosts of the “Road Tasted” program on the Food Network program made an appearance. Our deployed servicemembers are a long way from home. Nothing is better than home baked cookies. The aroma reminds you of home. DuPont donations have helped Treat the Troops prepare and send the cookies and other items. Our deployed troops hear a lot of negativity coming out of the United States regarding the war. The America Supports You Programs remind them that many Americans care about them. We appreciate all the sacrifices that they and their families are making. We wish they all could be home for Christmas. Cookies are almost as good as apple pie.