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Troops sent a little taste of home

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By Joel Fickel

The men and women of US Army HHC 1/502 Infantry, which is currently stationed in Afghanistan, got to taste a little bit of home last month, thanks to the efforts of eight-year-old Ivy Pulliam, her mother, Theresa, and all the young ladies of Girl Scout Troop 1395.

In late May, the troop donated two hundred boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to Guard Duty, Inc., a military support organization based in Taylorsville, which then sent the cookies to troops overseas, effectively putting “Operation Cookie Drop” in motion.  

“It’s a way to show how much we appreciate what they do,” said Theresa Pulliam, not only a scout parent but also Troop Leader and Cookie Booth Manager for Troop 1395. “And I think it gave them a little part of home.”

The idea for the project came from Ivy, a home-school student and devoted Girl Scout who wanted to do her part to help the American service persons who are putting their lives on the line thousands of miles away from home.

To raise the $700 dollars necessary to pay for the cookies, the Girl Scouts spent several painstaking months collecting donations.

“They didn’t have to do it. They could have just pigged out,” said DJ Fee, founder of Guard Duty, laughing. “They went beyond themselves.”

With the help of private donors, the Knights of Columbus, an international Catholic service organization, handled the cost of shipping the cookies to the war torn Middle Eastern nation.

The HHC 1/502 Infantry, which is deployed from Fort Campbell, has supported Veterans Celebration for the past four years by driving military vehicles in the Veterans Parade and providing games for the static display. Western Kentucky University Alumnus, Tyrone Douthit, who was “adopted through the heart” by Fee, serves within the unit and accepted the gesture enthusiastically.

“It was very meaningful to him. He was so thankful!” said Fee.

According to both Fee and the Pulliams, the project embodies much more than just cookies.

“Anything that represents support from home is so uplifting for them,” said Fee, who also serves as events coordinator for Guard Duty.

Guard Duty is a non-denominational Christian group “formed to boost the morale of our country’s warriors and to come alongside their family to offer support whether their loved one is deployed or serving at home,” according to guardduty777.com. The group established and organized the first Veterans Day Celebration for Taylorsville.

Ivy and her mother, who have been actively involved with Girl Scouts for four years, hope to send 50 more boxes in the coming weeks and establish “Operation Cookie Drop” as an ongoing project for the scouts until the troops are home.