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Bringing a ‘taste of home’ to Minot AFB airmen

Submitted Photo Homebaked cookies are donated by individuals, businesses and organizations in the local community and Minot Air Force Base during the annual Airmen Cookie Drive. Volunteer spouses at the base package the cookies to be distributed by First Sergeants to the first-term airmen. Photo from Minot Air Force Base.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – It’s a time of joy and a time for giving.

Organizers of the annual Airmen Cookie Drive at Minot Air Force Base are getting ready for this year’s event when hundreds of homebaked cookies are collected in the Minot community and then packaged on base to give to first-term airmen.

Carri Walters, spouse of 5th Bomb Wing Commander Col. Michael O. Walters, responded to questions this week from The Minot Daily News about the cookie drive and its organizers.

Walters, along with Tonya Menuey, spouse of 91st Missile Wing Commander Col. Christopher E. Menuey, and senior leader spouses are coordinating the annual Airmen Cookie Drive.

Carri Walters said the cookie drive for first-term airmen is “a wonderful Air Force tradition.” She said Tonya Menuey has been involved in similar projects to provide cookies to the Missile Alert Facilities. Walters has been part of cookie drives at multiple Air Force bases including helping coordinate the first ever Cookie Drive at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar for deployed airmen overseas.

“Receiving a bag of homemade cookies during the holidays is always appreciated by our airmen. The thoughtful gesture represents family and community and brings us together even during challenging times,” Walters said.

She said the cookies for Minot AFB airmen will be assembled by spouse volunteers into bags and then distributed by the base’s First Sergeants to the first-term airmen.

There are nearly 1,200 first-term airmen who live in base dormitories, according to information provided by the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce. For many of them this will be the first time they have been away from their families for Christmas and the New Year’s season.

Walters said anyone who is interested in baking cookies can help with the project.

“We are so grateful for every cookie donated and every person that assists in this effort,” she said. “This project is only successful due to the tremendous support and cookie donations that we receive from the Minot community along with our Minot AFB spouse volunteers and First Sergeants.”

Randy Hauck, chairman of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, in a story published in Monday’s edition of The Minot Daily News, urged local individuals, businesses and organizations to participate in the Airmen Cookie Drive by donating homebaked cookies.

He said the overall goal between the base and downtown is 1,200 dozen cookies, which means one dozen homemade cookies per person for the first-term airmen.

Walters said the cookie drop off times and locations are as follows:

– Minot Area Chamber of Commerce office at 1020 20th Ave. SW. The drop-off dates and times are Dec. 7-8 from 9 a.m to 4 p.m.

– Northern Lights Chapel at Minot AFB. The drop-off dates and times are Dec. 8 from 7-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m., and Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Walters said the cookies will be delivered by First Sergeants to airmen on Thursday, Dec. 10.

“We appreciate the support that the Minot community gives to the airmen stationed at Minot AFB every year during our annual Cookie Drive. For many of our airmen, this is the first time to be away from home during the holidays and the bag of cookies is like a taste of home.”

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