Troops honor Scouts for sending cookies

LILBURN - A uniformed soldier knelt down talking with a uniformed Girl Scout on Wednesday evening.

"She told some interesting stuff," 10-year-old Alison Kramlich said after her conversation with Spc. Alynne Pair. "She told me about the country of Kuwait. She said it was very sandy and dry."

On two weeks of leave from military deployment, Pair, who is with the 160th Signal Brigade stationed in Kuwait, was on hand to present members of Girl Scout Troop No. 1888 with a certificate of appreciation for their work earlier this year collecting donations of cookies to send to troops overseas. The Girl Scouts celebrated their accomplishments and honored the efforts of deployed U.S. military personnel with a reception at the Lilburn City Hall Auditorium.

The certificate of appreciation was signed by Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Thompson and Commanding Col. Ronald Stimeare.

"I think any time any soldier gets to participate in something like this where you have younger kids giving back to the community in their own way, it's always an honor for us to meet them and show them how much we appreciate it," Pair said following the presentation. "It's been an exciting day."

The Girl Scouts were also given a letter from Sgt. 1st Class Charles Kay, who wrote, "Here we were thinking that we were going to miss the season for the cookies, and we get a large shipment that came in, with everyone's favorites in them."

Kay's favorites happened to be Samoas and Thin Mints, but he said all the cookies were a big hit.

"Thank you for keeping the Soldiers over here in your thoughts," he wrote. "It lifts our spirits to know that others are thinking of us while we are here."

Red and blue tri-fold poster boards on display in the auditorium were decorated with photos of military personnel receiving boxes of cookies, many holding the colored packages that designate specific cookie flavors. A few soldiers had already broken open the boxes and were chewing on cookies as photos were taken.

"It was so nice to have something yummy from the USA," Sgt. 1st Class Angela Walker wrote in a letter to the Girl Scouts on July 10 that was displayed. "Thanks for thinking of the troops. You are great Americans."

The Girl Scouts in Troop 1888 are already getting started on their cookie drive for 2010. During the reception, businesses were invited to pledge their support for the cookie drive in matching donations that will be collected when booth sales begin next February. The Girl Scouts have set a goal to collect 10,000 boxes of cookies.