The Examiner

Girl Scouts Deployed in Valhalla to Send Cookies to Troops Overseas

We are part of The Trust Project
Captain James Van Thach, who was wounded in Afghanistan, was the special guest at this year's Operation Cookie Drop held by Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson last Saturday in Valhalla.
Captain James Van Thach, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was the special guest at this year’s Operation Cookie Drop held by Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson last Saturday in Valhalla.

Hundreds of local Girl Scouts gathered last Saturday morning in Valhalla to send Girl Scout cookies to the men and women serving overseas.

Operation Cookie Drop, which began in 2002, will send more than 80,000 boxes of the Scouts’ popular treats to troops stationed overseas, as well as to veterans’ homes, hospitals and military bases. Boxes and full crates of cookies were purchased earlier this year to donate to the troops and veterans.

While some of the cookies were purchased online and will be shipped from a warehouse, 200 Girl Scouts spent part of last Saturday packing the cookies into boxes and decorating the crates in which they will be shipped. The Scouts also wrote personalized notes to the troops and veterans, thanking them for their service and wishing them well.

In turn, Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson CEO Pam Anderson explained that the girls receive thank you notes from the troops who receive the cookies.

“We send these cookies, we usually see the payback, and we’ll get a photo from Afghanistan, for example, probably in about six months, after the cookies have gotten there,” she said.

“They may be Thin Mints that have melted together but when they get there, they’re sending us a picture and they have the notes,” Anderson added. “So, the girls know when they say thank you, they know that their efforts of being cookie entrepreneurs, and their selling cookies to individuals who don’t want the cookies but want to donate them, they know that it means that they are giving a piece of home to someone who can’t be home.”

At the event, a table showcased albums full of notes and photographs that the Girl Scouts have received from grateful recipients over the last decade.

One local veteran, Captain James Van Thach, was the special guest at this year’s cookie drop. He thanked the girls for their efforts to bring the familiar treats to the men and women who are serving overseas.

“I want to thank you all for the great work that you’re doing to bring compassion, as well as a sense of home, a sense of America to the troops that are out in Afghanistan presently,” he said.

Van Thach, a Purple Heart recipient who is now sight impaired, was wounded twice and retired from the Army in 2009. He now takes more than 20 pills a day to cope with his injuries, and has been paired with his service dog, Liz, which he showed off to the crowd. A college and law school graduate, Van Thach, signed up for the military following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He reminded the girls that the recipients of the cookies are making the same sacrifices so everyone back home can continue to live in freedom.

Director of Veterans for Westchester County Vito Pinto presented a proclamation from County Executive Rob Astorino’s office thanking Captain Van Thach for his dedication to the country and the Girl Scouts for their efforts.

“I think Captain Van Thach will agree, when you’re overseas and you get a care package, especially Girl Scout cookies, even though you may not have the milk to dunk them in, they are greatly appreciated,” Pinto said.


We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.