|Sgt. Travis Selinsky sent Mary Mallory a photo of soldiers with the 3rd Platoon Apache Company 2nd Battalion 12 Infantry Regiment in Afghanistan who were thankful for boxes of chocolate chip cookies from the Prescott Valley Albertsons.|
Mary Mallory, a Prescott Valley Town Council member and Albertsons store manager, has sent hundreds of thousands of chocolate chip cookies to service men and women overseas and at U.S. bases. She's ready to send more, but needs community members to supply names and addresses.
"I already have bags donated and waiting to ship out about 15,000 cookies," Mallory said. "People can donate for postage or just give me an address."
Postage to ship a box is about $13, and Mallory noted that plenty of soldiers remain overseas and would appreciate a package from home.
Through the years, she's received many letters thanking her and the people of Prescott Valley for cookies.
Sgt. Travis Selinsky, 3rd Platoon Apache Company 2nd Battalion 12 Infantry Regiment, recently wrote from Afghanistan: "Thank you for sending us the cookies. I personally know how delicious they are for every time my parents took us to Albertsons my brothers and I first thing would run to the bakery and eat the chocolate chip cookies. For being away from home for so long it is nice to have a little taste of home."
USAF MSgt. Robert DeCroce, 438th AEAG, NATO Air Training Command in Afghanistan, said he shared the cookies with the unit's Afghan counterparts.
"It is nice to be able to share a bit of America with the Afghans - it helps with building a stronger relationship. It definitely raised our morale along with those outside our unit," DeCroce wrote.
Leila Ketterlinus, a 1st Lt. with CJTF Palandin in Texas said the cookies "were all gone within five minutes of landing on the table."
And Cpt. Karen Berggren, with CJTF Paladin in Afghanistan, said some packages never even made it out of the office, while she delivered others to several units.
"Service Members will never
say no to homemade goodies, but we also appreciate that folks back home remember that we are here! Your time and efforts do not go unnoticed," Berggren wrote.
After Berggren dropped off a box of cookies to Senior Intelligence Analyst Chuck Williams at Bagram Airbase, he wrote: "Although I have retired from the military and am now working as a contractor, it was a much appreciated gesture. Thank you so much for keeping all of us in your thoughts."
Mallory also received an American flag that was flown in combat over Afghanistan for her during Operation Enduring Freedom by the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron on July 4, 2012.
The accompanying certificate, signed by the aircraft's commander, co-pilot, flight engineer, navigator and two loadmasters, starts: "I am the American Flag. I have flown over every conflict since my inception into this world," and ends: "I am committed to you, the children of my country. I am the American Flag."
Call Mary Mallory at the Prescott Valley Albertsons, 775-2212, or at the Town Council office, 759-3100, to give her an address or postage donation.