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Operation Thin Mint: Mission accomplished

April 16, 2002|STAFF REPORT

Thanks to the generosity of residents who supported Operation Thin Mint, the Girl Scouts San Diego-Imperial Council will be sending more than 104,330 boxes of cookies to some of Americas finest: the military troops serving our country in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Between Jan. 26 and March 17, tens of thousands of San Diego County and Imperial County residents enlisted in Operation Thin Mint, which ran in conjunction with the 2002 Girl Scout cookie sale.

Their mission? To provide deployed U.S. military troops with "a taste of home, a note to say we care." And the overwhelming response from residents proved that they certainly did choose to accept their mission.

The first shipment of cookies began its journey overseas April 9 amid crowds of cheering Girl Scouts, volunteers and military representatives, including Rear Adm. Jose Betancourt, commander, Navy region southwest; Brig. Gen. (select) Terry Robling, U.S. Marine Corps.; and the Navy Band Southwest Ceremonial Band.

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American President Line, which donated its services, will pick up the cookies at the Mayflower Van & Storage facility in San Diego and take them to Long Beach in a refrigerated container. From Long Beach the cookies will be loaded onto a ship headed for Singapore. (Due to the tremendous response, plans are still being finalized for the two additional containers, which will be sent to the Persian Gulf ports of Bahrain and/or Jebel Ali.)

The Navy has developed a plan to distribute the cookies, with a goal of "delivering one box of Girl Scout cookies to every U.S. service member deployed afloat in support of Operation Enduring Freedom … with preference given to West Coast service members, particularly the J.C. Stennis Battle group."

But the cookies were just half of Operation Thin Mint's mission of providing our deployed military troops with "a taste of home, a note to say we care."

Along with the cookies, thousands of note cards came in from Girl Scouts and the general public with words of gratitude and messages of support. From a young girl's sticker-and-stamp-decorated card to a military veteran's proud letter, the notes show just how much the people of San Diego and Imperial counties do care.

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