TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE — Firearms instructor Stanley Davis made sure Thursday morning to stop by the Nugget Market to collect 500 cookies that he later dropped by the base chapel to be sorted and packaged by a small legion of volunteers.
“I love my military and I love my vets,” said Davis of why he took time out of his day to collect cookies. “The best we can do is give back to them.”
That legion of volunteers gathered early Thursday to start sorting more than 10,000 cookies, ranging from oatmeal to chocolate chip, that were baked the night before by spouses and civilians from all over the base and surrounding community.
Once the cookies are sorted, an assortment is packed into one of hundreds of boxes, wrapped with ribbons and has a colorful holiday card attached that was created by an elementary school student.
“It is a great feeling,” said Danette Miller, who pitched in with Anji Klein to prepare cookie boxes. “It feels like we are taking care of our family.”
Tina Kandle, who was one of the organizers, said the cookies are a wonderful morale boost for those airmen who are spending their holidays away from their families. Many of the younger ones are spending their first holiday away from home.
Called Operation Cookie Drop, the holiday gathering has been a Travis tradition for years that gets started earlier in the month when the call goes out for people to bake cookies while the base’s first sergeants gather to work up lists of airmen who will get the cookies.
Senior Master Sgt. Lisa Williams remembers what it was like to be away from home on that first year and said getting something to show that the rest of the base is thinking if you is appreciated.
“It is anything we can do for them that shows we are thinking of them,” Williams said.
Delivering the boxes to the dorms has always made Williams feel good and is a great way to spread holiday cheer.
Any extra cookies left over will be sent to places such as the Travis fire department or the David Grant emergency room “where the airmen work and can’t leave,” Williams said.
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