Cookies bring a 'taste of home' to those overseas

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) An act of community kindness in Appleton is felt by US Army members thousands of miles away from home.

Earlier this year, Engage Orthodontics decided to buy Girl Scout Cookies from multiple troops in the area.

“Thirteen girls scouts came in and we bought six boxes from each one,” said Tammy Keller, marketing coordinator for Engage Orthodontics. “We ended with around 80 boxes and then sent them overseas to our troops.”

“We didn’t know how to get them out or where to go and my brother happened to be deployed,” said Angie Sanderson, Engage Orthodontics. “So I called him and said could we send a care package to you and if so, where do we send it to?”

Angie’s brother, Gary Coit, Aviation structural mechanic second class petty officer with the US Army, didn’t know what to expect and said he was shocked to see Girl Scout Cookies in the care package. Coit is an Appleton native and has been with the US Army for 12 years. He hopes to become a Navy Seal.

“I knew there was something coming. I didn’t know what it was or how much, but everyone was really thrilled and it was awesome,” said Coit.

Coit said he wasn’t the only one surprised, his whole squadron was pretty happy about the cookies.

Along with the cookies, the Girl Scouts sent letters and cards.

“I wrote thank you for helping us survive and this is how I thank you, by giving you these Girl Scout cookies,” said Lexie Krueger, Girl Scouts member.

“Thank you for serving the country,” said Carly Polanski, Girl Scouts member.

“One little girl wrote thank you for saving my life,” said Sanderson. “I started crying as soon as I read it. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine what it would like to get this note’.”

However, Coit knew exactly what it was like to get one of the letters.

“It was emotional for some people because, you know, being deployed, we have kids, we have families back home, so some people reading over the notes, they did cry,” said Coit. “Some were funny some were heartfelt, so a good mix.”

To say thank you, Coit and his squadron sent the Girl Scouts and Engage Orthodontics a shadow box, covered in thank you messages.

Coit also shared photos of his friends eating the cookies.

“I was kind of excited that they were so happy about it,” said Polansky.

“I thought that they really enjoyed them and they were super thankful,” said Krueger.

For some this gesture may seem small, but for those involved it means so much more and it started with something simple.

“All over a box of cookies,” said Coit.

“It doesn’t matter if it is cookies or a tooth brush or whatever, just the idea that somebody does remember,” said Sanderson. “It’s really important that we remember they are there.”