Care packages from the Cookie Brigade
By Maj. Audra Flanagan, 148FW
/ Published April 02, 2010
DULUTH, Minn. --
148th Civil Engineers deployed with the 455th Expeditionary Air Wing at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan received a special sweet treat last week. The Cookie Brigade from Frederic, WI sent 148th members 22 containers filled with home-made cookies.
The Cookie Brigade formed in October of 2006 when founder Susan Hager received cookie requests from friends and family in Iraq and Afghanistan. The name Cookie Brigade was informally given and appropriately stuck. After a local newspaper did a story on the Brigade, requests for cookies and people wanting to help increased. 20 people, including Susan now bake for the Cookie Brigade. Upon hearing about the Cookie Brigade, the Clorox Company who owns Glad became a corporate sponsor and supplies all press and seal containers.
Susan, a dog lover, also bakes special biscuits for military working dogs and their handlers. Feeding working dogs is fairly strict, but Susan's recipe was approved by Ron Aiello, Director of the U.S. War Dogs Association.
The Cookie Brigade has received some great compliments and thank yous over the years to include U.S. Flags flown over Iraq, emails from canine teams, certificates from military units, the "Patriotism Award" given by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard (EANGUS) and even Martha Stewards "Dreamers into Doers Award". However, in 2008, a military member gave the Commander of U.S. Central Command, General David Petreus a container of cookies while he was at the Multi-National Headquarters in Iraq. General Petreus sent a letter to the Cookie Brigade stating that their actions were a great morale booster for the men, women and canines stationed in Iraq. That friendship has continued and General Petreus still supports the Cookie Brigade.
The Cookie Brigade became an official non-profit organization in 2008. Their mission is to express gratitude to the troops by baking and sending "homemade" cookies and dog biscuits to the brave men, women and canine teams serving the U.S. To date, the Cookie Brigade has shipped approximately 8,000 dozen cookies and 900 dozen dog biscuits. More information about this generous organization can be found at www.cookiebrigade.com