Community collects, sends aloha to deployed Soldiers
August 5, 2008
<p>SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - More than 15 Soldiers lined up as 300 cases of Girl Scout cookies passed effortlessly between their hands and were stacked outside of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SCBT) building here, July 17. The cases, along with 1,000 donated aloha shirts, are currently on their way to Soldiers in Iraq. </p><p>"Our plan is to deliver these items to our Soldiers as soon as possible," said Rear Detachment Command Sgt. Maj. Errol Snyder, 2nd SBCT, "to bring some aloha spirit to our deployed Soldiers." </p><p>Two outstanding community members coordinated the collection of these donated items. Sascha Franzel started the program "T-shirts for Troops" to spread aloha and support the operations overseas. </p><p> "I just decided it was the right thing to do," said 16-year-old Franzel. "It's what I can and needed to do to help." </p><p>Word of mouth and numerous appearances on the local news aided Franzel in her efforts to gather 1,000 aloha shirts from community members around the state. </p><p> "We started with just a few and as the word spread, so did the donations," said Franzel. </p><p>Girl Scouts of Hawaii continued its yearly "Operation: Girl Scout Cookie," to show support for the troops. As scouts encouraged family and friends to buy the famed cookies, many members of the community purchased extra boxes to send a sweet surprise to deployed Soldiers. </p><p> "This is something we do every year," said Jennifer Frisbee, who facilitated the local chapter of the program. "Each year it grows, and more and more people around the island donate to show their support." </p><p>The number of donated boxes being sent to all branches of military more than doubled this year compared to last year, according to Frisbee. The troops' appreciation was evident in numerous thank you letters sent to the Girl Scouts of Hawaii. </p><p>Both ladies were rewarded for their efforts and presented with certificates of appreciation. </p><p> "You bring out the best of what our country has to offer," said Snyder as he presented the certificates. "We appreciate your efforts." </p><p>Master Sgt. Lynne Kelley of the Air Force's Defense Information Systems Agency-Pacific Command (DISA-PAC), was also celebrated for her efforts in bringing the Air Force and Army together in an impromptu recognition ceremony for the community members. </p><p> "This shows that our community and military family is growing," said Maj. Adelaido Godinez, 2SBCT rear detachment commander. "It's amazing that this many shirts and cookies were donated without any corporate sponsorship, just individuals within the community." </p><p> "This is the epitome of teamwork," added Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Vaughan, DISA-PAC. "And it will bring a smile to the face of many Soldiers." </p><p>For more information on "T-shirts for Troops" or to donate an aloha shirt, contact Sascha Franzel at firstname.lastname@example.org. </p><p>For details on "Operation: Girl Scout Cookie," or to make a donation, call Kristi Cardoso at the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii
at 808-595-8400, ext. 216.