Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Operation Baking Gals



I have seen the infamous "Operation Baking Gals" logo on quite a few websites since I've joined the cooking blog world.  After reading about it on other blogs I decided to visit the Operation Baking Galswebsite and see what it was all about.  It was absolutely amazing reading about it and finding out how it got started and how quickly it has grown since the first round.  

From the first story I read on the website I knew I had to be a part of this.  I contacted Susan of She's BecomingDough Messticto become part ofThe Baking Gals, Susan was very quick to respond to my email with all the information I needed.  It made me feel so good to be a part of something like this and to see just how many people were involved already and how fast it's growing.   

By joining I felt like this was a way I could give something back to the ones who are giving so much to us.  Any little bit we can do over here to show them appreciation is so worth it and probably means more than we could imagine.  We are so fortunate to live in a place like we do and have the freedom that we do.  If it weren't for these men and women fighting for our rights and all the ones before them we wouldn't have what we have today.  

Sunday night I prepared my packages of cookies to take to the post office to ship them off to the guys.  I was very moved while I was preparing them for shipping.  I was also overwhelmed when I took them to the post office on Monday to ship them.  It was an amazing feeling and ever the clerk went on and on about how much those guys would appreciate the cookies and how nice that was.  I hope when the guys receive my cookies and the rest of my groups cookies they will know just how much they mean to us and how much we appreciate what each and every one of them are doing.


For this round the first team I volunteered for was "Team We'll Eat Everything" hosted by Lauren of I'll Eat You.  She was such an awesome hostess and very upbeat when got everyone on her team upbeat and ready to bake.  The soldier that we had was Eddie Ortiz of New Jersey by way of York, PA.  He attended high school in York with one of Lauren's co-workers and so that is how we got introduced to Eddie.  

Eddie is 28 and a single father of a son and daughter.  He went into the Navy right after finishing high school in 1998.  He has been deployed in Iraq since August and I am unsure when he finishes his tour. 



The second team I volunteered for this round was "Team Daleske" hosted by Stephanie Flynn of "Mostly Useless Drivel".  Stephanie was an awesome hostess as well and got us all the information we needed right off the bat.  The soldier on her team was Christopher Daleske.   


Christopher calls Hilton Head Island South Carolina home but also claims Summit, NJ...a small town in Union County. He attended High school at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, PA and was a member of the regimental band on a music scholarship during High School. He then continued on to Jr College and was comissioned as a 2nd LT in the Army through Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne PA in 2001, transferred to Clemson University in South Carolina in 2001-2004. He joined TKE, a social fraternity, and graduated with a BA in Political Science and a BA in History (he's talented and a genius!). He was initially stationed at Fort Bragg, NC with the 18th Fires BDE, and then transferred to the 18th Airborne Corps for the current deployment.
Christopher married his college sweetheart in July of 2007, and was deployed just seven short months later, in Feb 2008. He expects to come home in the Spring of 2009. His beautiful young wife is living with her parents until he comes home, and he plans on moving them to Virginia and working for the military in some capactiy upon his redeployment.
Christopher loves to travel and is so fanatical about college football that he stays up 'til 6 AM watching the games in Iraq! He's very active, loves sports and the ocean, and after being around the dusty brown of Iraq for so long, misses the snow, rain and everything beautifully green.
Christopher is the unofficial Morale Officer to the men and women around him. He shares everything he gets from home to lighten the mood and morale for his friends and fellow soldiers over there. He even stores up any party related items he recieves from home for impromtu birthday celebrations for those around him.
Most importantly, he thanks God every single day for keeping his friends, family, countrymen and women safe and for all that they do. How about a HUGE thanks to Christopher for all that he does to keep all of us safe!Let's all pray for the safety and health of CPT Daleske, and all of our soldiers serving in the armed forces. And those of you who are so inclined, well let's bake our little hearts out and shower him with the love and gratitude he deserves!



For the guys this time I baked Chocolatey, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The recipes will follow.


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