Airman in Korea receive sweet holiday treat

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The holidays are a time when many families gather together to celebrate various traditions. Since 96 percent of the 8,900 Airmen stationed on the Korean peninsula are in unaccompanied billets, they don't have this luxury. But volunteers from the Osan community came together to give them a taste of home, baking more than 100,000 cookies, in a project led by the Osan Officers' Spouses' Club.

The majority of the 100,000 cookies were made over a period of three months and frozen after they were finished to keep them fresh. Out of those, 90,000 cookies were made in the kitchen of the Mustang Club with the help of more than 200 base personnel.

"This was really a Team Osan effort," said Mrs. Lynette Featherston, an assistant tothe Cookie Crunch chairperson, Mrs. Meisja Acuri. "Without people volunteering to come help dip sugar and chocolate chip cookies and bake them, we wouldn't have been able to finish baking."

This year, the OOSC started baking gingersnaps for the first time. All 10,000 of these cookies were baked strictly by members of the club, either at home or in the Mustang with dough that was made at home.

"I think the most important part of the Cookie Crunch is it's a gesture from the heart," said Mrs. Featherston. "It shows everyone who is here without their families there are people on the peninsula who care about them."

Out of the 100,000 cookies made, 64,000 of them were delivered to unaccompanied Airmen stationed on Osan by first sergeants.

"I think this program is a great idea," said Master Sgt. Mary Parris, 51st Services Squadron first sergeant. "People seemed very appreciative that they were being thought about."

For those Airmen not stationed on Osan, cookies were airlifted to them.

Lt. Gen. Stephen G. Wood, 7th Air Force commander, along with his wife, Denise, and other senior leaders made stops at Gwang Ju, Gimhae, Daegu, Chong Ju and Suwon, all collocated operating bases under 7th AF, Dec. 15.

During the stops, Lt. Gen. Wood thanked the Airmen for their service and explained the significance of their dedication, not only across the peninsula, but also to the Air Force and throughout the world.