12/11/12 — Cookie day: special gifts for airmen

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Cookie day: special gifts for airmen

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 11, 2012 1:46 PM

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Lindsey Howard, 5, picks cookies out of a plastic box to place in a cookie care package for young airmen during the Airman Cookie Drive party held at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Monday evening. The drive, initiated by the Officer and Civilian Spouses' Club, brings a little taste of home to those airmen living in the base dorms who will not be able to travel home for the holidays.

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Shannon Dvorsky, carrying daughter Sophia, 7 weeks, picks cookies for her box during the cookie packing party. More than 600 dozen cookies were provided by local bakers for Seymour Johnson Air Force Base airmen.

Joshua Howard looked puzzled.

"Five," he said, placing a cookie in the small plastic container in his right hand. "Wait. Six. No. Five."

The little boy stepped away from the table and started counting the contents of the box with his finger.

"One. Two. Three. Four. Five," the 6-year-old said. "Yeah. Five."

Seven cookies later, Joshua had completed one of hundreds of care packages that will soon be delivered to some of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's youngest airmen -- the men and women living in the base dorms who likely won't be able to make it home for Christmas this year.

But the donation, itself, is not what impresses those who organized this year's Airman Cookie Drive the most.

To them, it was the scope of the effort -- the fact that the Seymour Johnson and Wayne County communities baked more than 600 dozen cookies for people many of them have never met -- that truly touched their hearts.

Like the members of the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church congregation who created nearly 100 dozen confections.

Or the local businesses who contributed hundreds of cookies of their own.

"I'm just so overwhelmed by the support of the community and all the squadrons," said Nicole Bar, the chairman of this year's drive. "I'm blown away."

4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Jeannie Leavitt agreed.

But she didn't seem all that surprised that so much of the support for the drive came from airmen and their families.

"It all comes back to being an Air Force family," she said. "And families take care of each other."