Girl Scout Claire Munster will surpass her goal of 200 boxes of cookies for deployed troops.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- This time of year, all Girl Scouts have cookies on their minds. While many will go door-to-door to deliver their goods, Claire MunsterAca,!a,,cs cookies will have a bit farther to go. She is sending her cookies to Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Aca,!A"I want to send them all around Iraq and Afghanistan where our Soldiers are stationed,Aca,!A? Claire said. Aca,!A"That would make me really happy.Aca,!A?

Claire, 11, is a member of the Redstone Girl Scout Troop 465. She comes from a family with a strong military background. Her father, Lt. Col. Matthew Munster, is the product manager for unmanned aircraft systems at PEO Integration. Both of her grandfathers served in the military, as have all of her uncles. In fact, the idea to send cookies to Soldiers grew out of the stories about Vietnam her grandfather told her.

Aca,!A"My Poppa would talk about our Soldiers and Vietnam. It really depressed me that they werenAca,!a,,ct treated properly when they got home,Aca,!A? Claire said. Aca,!A"I decided that I wanted to show our thanks to our Soldiers and cheer them up a little with cookies.Aca,!A?

Instead of asking friends, family and neighbors to purchase cookies for themselves, the sixth-grader is asking them to buy boxes for troops. Once the cookies arrive, they will be packed and sent to Soldiers who have volunteered to distribute them to others.

Aca,!A"You canAca,!a,,ct send them to Aca,!EoeAny SoldierAca,!a,,c anymore because of security,Aca,!A? mom Sandy Munster explained. Aca,!A"She has someone from the neighborhood, someone from school and someone from church that is willing to distribute for her there.Aca,!A?

Instead of going door-to-door, Claire decided to write a letter explaining her idea and asking for support. Her mother then e-mailed relatives and the friends that they have made while living around the world as a military family. The response has been fantastic, Sandy Munster said.

Checks have arrived steadily in the mail. Claire had decided that if she was able to send 200 boxes to Soldiers, she would be happy. As of last week, she had met that goal. She isnAca,!a,,ct done yet, however. She is still taking orders and will take donations when her troop begins booth sales through the end of February.

ClaierAca,!a,,cs cause has also been taken up by the Gulf Coast District Elks Lodge in Texas, where her aunt lives. Since many of their members are veterans, they were particularly touched by Claire\'s letter. They have been collecting on her behalf since the beginning of the year. She has been told that they will call with their total this weekend.

Aca,!A"TheyAca,!a,,cve been fund-raising for the past month,Aca,!A? Sandy Munster said. Aca,!A"TheyAca,!a,,cre giving her the total this weekend to surprise her as a ValentineAca,!a,,cs gift. So we have no idea whatAca,!a,,cs coming, but weAca,!a,,cre thinking its going to be big.Aca,!A?

Originally, ClaireAca,!a,,cs troop leader had offered to pay the postage to send the cookies overseas. With the total number of boxes climbing though, the troop may not have enough money to handle them all. They hope that some area businesses, organizations and individuals will step in to help with shipping costs.

Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs gotten so huge,Aca,!A? Sandy Munster said. Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cre going to have to do fund-raising to pay all the postage.Aca,!A?

To order cookies for deployed Soldiers or make a donation for shipping expenses, e-mail Sandy Munster at msmunster@hotmail.com.

Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs such a great opportunity to say thank you for all that our Soldiers do,Aca,!A? Claire said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16