Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Girl Scouts send cookies to deserving soldiers

by LISA SHADE, Special to the Gazette on May 08, 2014 10:49 AM

Brian Castner received a box of Thin Mints on a cramped transport aircraft over western Iraq while he served as an explosive ordnance disposal officer in the U.S. Air Force.

On his blog, Fever Dreams, Castner called the gift from a Girl Scout troop from western Pennsylvania “one of the dearest kindnesses that has ever been shown to me.”

Girl Scouts want to share more of that kindness to men and women serving our country overseas in the U.S. military through a unique addition to the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program called Operation: Sweet Appreciation.

“Girl Scouts have sent cookies and care packages to men and women in our military every year,” said Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania. “Operation: Sweet Appreciation expands on their efforts, sending more cookies to more of our servicemen and -women, giving them a welcome taste of home on behalf of Girl Scouts in western Pennsylvania.”

Donations are accepted online at through Memorial Day, May 26. Anyone who donates online to the effort can choose a specific Girl Scout troop or individually registered girl (also known as Indie Girls) to receive credit from the donation, just as they would through the traditional cookie program.

Girl Scout cookies purchased with the donations from this program will be shipped directly from the baker, Little Brownie Bakers, to military troops serving overseas.

The cookies delivered through Operation: Sweet Appreciation carry a message of support.

“Being deployed myself, I was a witness to the power of what a cookie can do,” said Suzanne Buttery, a master sergeant in the United States Air Force Reserves and a manager of membership and community development for GSWPA.

“To the service members receiving the gifts, it’s not just about the deliciousness of the cookies. Just looking at a Girl Scout cookie box is a reminder of the comforts of home and the support of the American people,” she said.

Donations to the program are accepted online at

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