Hello Bakers,

Just a quick note to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do.  Until I started chairing this group, I had no idea how much work you all put into each and every mailing.

I also wanted to thank you in advance for doing mailings during this busy holiday time.  I realize we all have so much on our plates at this time, but I can't think of a period that would be harder on our soldiers than Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you ever have any suggestions for improvements in this operation, I am open to them all.  No promises I can make them happen, but it's worth a look.




Some Tips on Shipping

Greetings Bakers!
Fran here....thought I would drop in for a minute to pass this info on....
I was reading the Plain Dealer today and came across an article with some sweet tips about shipping to those in the military. Here is the link if you need some ideas.
I trust you all are having a wonderful beginning to a summer that is sure to fly by! Please know that your dedication is appreciated by so many. You may not get a note of thanks every time, but when you do, know that it represents a world of thanks from MANY others!


OHBakes change of hands

Hello bakers, soldiers, etc.-

As many of you know, Fran stepped down as the organizer of OHBakes after much thought & prayer, and turned over leadership to two capable women, Kelli Norris (myself) and Kris Knisely.

Fran is spending increasingly more time at the Family Ministry Center, in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood of Cleveland, http://outreachconnections.org/bsfmc/ and between this and her regular job, she felt it time to let someone else take us forward.

Kris got involved with OHBakes when she read about Fran in the paper and was inspired to join. She is a VERY part time realtor with time on her hands, so this is perfect. She had a nephew who served in Iraq, saw how hard it was on her sister and decided she needed to do something somehow. Kris has a very soft spot for soldiers and their huge sacrifice, like all of us. She live in Columbus and have a great husband and two grown kids.

As for myself, a friend gave me the info for OHBakes one day and I loved the organization from the start! Soldiers & Veterans have a soft spot in my heart because my step-dad is one so I’ve grown up a nice chunk of my life around Veterans as well as a significant number of guys I graduated with are in the service now! I also live in the Columbus area and spend my time between work, church, taking online courses, and spending time with my boyfriend and dog!

We're looking forward to this awesome journey with you guys!
If anybody ever has any questions, wants to bake, or has a soldier for us to bake for, please email us at ohbakes@gmail.com!

Thank you & God Bless,
Kelli N.


Thanks from Jerry's Mom


Just a note of appreciation for the bake goods you and your group sent my son while he was deployed.

He (Jerry) arrived safely back in the United States 2 weeks ago.

Thank you and your group ever so much.

Laura Reinhard



Email Issues

Operation Baking Gals Northern Ohio is currently having email issues where all Hotmail, some MSN, and some ATT addresses that I am sending to are bouncing back to me, having been marked as spam.
I am trying to resolve what I can, not sure how long it will take. I am receiving YOUR emails, but it is very frustrating to not be able to get a reply to many of you.
Sorry for any inconvenience.


Thank you from Nick!

One of our baker's recently received this email from Nick-

.....you recently sent me some goodies and i just wanted to thank you !!! it means alot to me . even tho home is so far away little things mean so much ....... If you ever have the chance to send things over to afganistan or iraq please do.. My first deployment i went there and packages are treated like gold.. Its amazing how much just a picture of Ohio or a newspaper means over there.. Kinda keeps ya remembering how things are back home.Once again thank so much for the gifts for me and my fellow troops !!!! you keep us going !!! THANK YOU !!!!
Nick Foor"


Thanks from a Marine Mom

Thank you so much....to all the bakers. You have no idea how happy you all made some Marines who are far away from home.

At this Thanksgiving, we are grateful to all of you.



More Thanks!!

Barb just received a very nice letter from MSG Jeffrey Garcia. He responded to all who baked cookies and thanked us for "sharing your life with me and my soldiers, and for taking the time to recognize our service to our country and its people". The best was he ended by saying he would be home in 2 weeks, yahoo!!!.

Jennie also received a letter From Jeff that said "The care package was very thoughtful and well appreciated by all of us. Comfort food is always a good thing.
We will be going home soon, so thank you again."


Happy Veteran's Day

Thank you for your service! Veterans know well the consequences and CHOOSE to risk their lives in order to help improve the lives of others less fortunate. God bless each and every one of you.


What to Send

Our mission is to mainly send home-baked goods for our soldiers, but I am often asked what we can send if we have extra space or no time to bake (but still want to send something to our soldier to know they are appreciated).
Here are some suggestions: (Thanks Teresa!)
Playing Cards
Ziploc Bags (to keep personal items dry or sand-free)
Sunflower Seeds, Chewing Gum, Nuts
Spices (crushed red pepper, cayenne, salt, pepper)
Smoked canned sardines, oysters
Cereal /granola bars
Protein power/energy bars
Travel size tissues
Travel size antibacterial
Travel size sunscreen
Hot Cocoa Mix
Powdered drink mix/powdered gatorade
Foot powder
Hand warmers
Icy Hot Patches
Small skinny notebooks or writing paper
Magazines (non objectionable)
Crossword, Sudoku puzzle books
aa batteries
Ink pens/pencils


Thanks from Rubin

from Rubin's aunt Patty:
"Rubin says to please tell all of the "Gals" that the boxes arrived in great shape and he and his buddies are overwhelmed with the love and thoughtfulness that went into packing each one. They all send their love and thanks."


Great News!

I received this last month from the family of Jim Lawlor (one of our July soldiers).
"We had learned from Jim about 3 weeks ago- that he'd not received any of the letters & pkgs we'd sent since April.
We became very concerned etc- even tho we knew he was in a very remote area.
Just go a message from him this AM that was written 7 hrs ago- he was back at Co. Hqtrs. for a short while- and had gotten everything!!! He couldn't stop thanking for all the good baked goods and good AMERICAN food that you and your bakers had sent. He shared with his group and they all appreciated it more than any of us will ever realize. They all were SO happy!!!!!
There are not words enough to express how much your service means to the families of these guys. And thanks just doesn't seem to even begin to tell you how thankful we are for you all!! But again- thank you for this service.
Sincerely, Linda E
PS- He'll start processing for - back to the states Nov 25th!! That's the best news yet!!!!!!"



Another Thanks from Bravo Co.

We are sincerely grateful for the packages and kind words-they were much appreciated. Colonel Ed had Bravo Company distribute their contents to the Soldiers in our unit. We're entering the ninth month of our deployment, and certain items are in short supply. The shelves in our PX are becoming increasingly bare due to the ongoing drawdown of forces, so personal hygiene products are always needed. Snacks, especially the home-baked cookies, were welcome treats--and a reminder of the homes we left behind so many months ago.

I'm pleased to report all packages arrived intact--over 80 in all. And they came just in time, as our post office is reducing operations, and delivery of incoming mail to this location will cease in the very near future.

On behalf of our entire Task Force here at COB Speicher, i wish to again thank the selfless individuals who purchased the items, baked the cookies, packed the boxes and paid for the postage. We are truly humbled by your generosity and heartened by your concern for our well-being.


Brian K
Captain, Medical Service Corps
Company Commander
task Force 256th Combat Support Hospital


Thanks from COB Speicher

Got this email in response to the packages we sent on an "emergency basis"......
"Yes!! Over 100 packages, most containing baked goods and hygiene products, arrived between August 20 and 27. These were distributed not only to soldiers from our unit, but also to all the U.S. military on COB Speicher. Our unit has produced many "thank you" notes, which were mailed a couple days ago. We are all grateful for the generosity of so many good people. "
Col. Ed


Thank you from Brian

"Thank you so much for the care package. I cannot say how much we appreciate it and how much it means to us to know there are people who support us back home. It is a huge morale booster to us.

We put the cookies and snacks on a table in our office. It is amazing how fast word spreads that someone has cookies. We get all kinds on visitors. We share with our smaller adjacent units too. They are also very appreciative.

We are almost halfway though our deployment. It's great seeing that light at the end of the tunnel.
We just have a hot summer and hopefully not so hot fall - then we should be back in time for the holidays.

I can't wait to get back to northeast Ohio. I love the seasons.... and we don't get a whole lot of change over here.

Thanks again. We truly appreciate you and your organization."

SFC Brian K.


A Family's Thanks

Our grandson, Christopher, is home from the UAE, safe and sound. He still talks about all the baked goods he received and how he was able to share them with others. It sure made a lot of them happy.

Thank you so very much - and all that take part in the program. It’s people like you that make the deployment tolerable.


Larry W.

Some Requests

from one of our bakers........
I spoke with Brent, who is my close friend and to whom we sent packages. He asked me first off to thank everyone who is baking and sending boxes to send to the troops. When I asked, he gave me the following list of things that really came in handy for the troops:
travel-sized toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc
individually packed handiwipes and eye wash
packets or cans of tuna or chicken
gum, candy, etc
individually packed nuts, etc
cookies, of course
granola and granola bars
i thought maybe sunscreen, though he didn't mention that
I hope that helps!
Thank you for all that you do,


Thanks from Maureen

Jennie, one our bakers has received this email from her friend, Maureen, one of this months soldiers-


Oh my goodness I can't even BEGIN to tell you how excited everyone has been with the boxes of cookies. I have been begged for more of your orange cookies, and for someone's (can't remember who) peanut butter cookies. And I thought one girl was going to tackle me for the container of icing you sent with the cupcakes.

Tell everyone who has sent items THANK YOU! I and my Marines are LOVING them.


Like Christmas!!

I wanted to share part of an email we received.
"........the young soldier you’re sending cookies to this month has been ecstatic over each box—like Christmas! "


Thanks From Dr. Ed

part of an email I received....
"I did receive many packages filled with cookies and other treats from  Operation Baking Girls a few months ago. Needless to say, I wasn't able to eat  all the contents myself, so shared them with other soldiers in my unit. The  cookies were delicious, and much appreciated. On behalf of the soldiers of the  256th Combat Support Hospital, I wish to extend my sincerest appreciation to  your group for its kindness and consideration.  Thank you again for thinking of us here in Iraq."  Colonel Dr. Ed Deputy Commander for Clinical Services


From a Soldier's Mom

Received for Laura "Hi and Good- Morning to you!!! We'll, just a Great BIG THANK YOU to everyone form Rob and his friends in South Korea! They received 20 boxes of cookies, and muffins. He said the muffins were the only bakery that was not in good condition when they arrived. Everything else was great and he and his friends said they were so happy!!!!Please pass this on to the cookie girls, With Sincere thanks, A Grateful Soldier and his Mom!!!"


Thank You's from Brent and Jessica!

This is part of Brent's e-mail (one of February's soldiers):

"The days are counting down in the 50 range. Things here are busy and very kinetic, but I wanted to let you know we received 18 packages from the group today and WOW, were we happy. I also wanted to thank you for taking time to write, it really means a lot to me.

This is an amazing act of kindness. It’s great to hear of people that still do these things. WOW, I think this is the only word to describe the amount of effort they had to put into all the baking effort, packing and shipping!
My Marines are doing great, and without a doubt all the care packages have made a huge impact on them. It is simply amazing to know all these people think and care so much to send these wonderful (and very useful) packages. Let them know the Marines truly appreciate their thoughtfulness. As times are hard on them the packages are a reminder that people really care about what we are doing over here every day.

Words do little to express what gratitude we have to everyone that has contributed. Please let them know, we truly appreciate all the love, effort & support they made to make this deployment a bit easier and meaningful! Take care!


From Jessica:
"Thank you for sending the care packages with all the treats. The Marines and myself in VFMA-122 really enjoyed them. I would also like to thank you and your group for all the support.
Sgt. Jessica"


A Mil. Mom Sends Thanks!

We received this email from Alex's mom today. Thanks to all the bakers!!!

"I spoke to Alex a couple of days ago and he is amazed and overwhelmed at the support your group has shown him. He says he's saving the enclosed e-mail addresses with the intent to respond to everyone personally, but at the moment he has very little down time, and less opportunity to sit down at a computer to e-mail.
He was particularly happy to receive Ohio University items which were packed in a couple of the boxes. Apparently there are a few alums amongst the cookie bakers.
Once again, my heartfelt thanks to your entire group. As a Military Mom I really appreciate all you do!


Thanks from Jonathan...

"Greetings from Afghanistan! Thank you for taking the time to think of me. Things are going well and I am doing my part. I miss my family, but the time will pass quickly. I do enjoy what I am doing. Regards, Jonathan

Life is good!"


Thanks from Col. Dr. Ed AND a Soldier"s Mom!

"I shared the cookies, brownies,and muffins with the other soldiers in our  unit--they were delicious and very welcome, since we'd long since run out of  Christmas goodies.  Thank you again for thinking of us here in Iraq.  The  kindness, concern, and gratitude of those we've come here to defend (the  American people) make our sacrifice worthwhile."  Colonel Edward H. Deputy Commander for Clinical Services Task Force 256

"I spoke to Alex on Thursday and he said he’s received cookies! He’ll be sharing them with his troops and says “thanks” so much! (He’s a man of few words!) As his mom, I really appreciate the efforts of the bakers! It’s comforting to know that you’re keeping my son and the rest of the soldiers in your thoughts and prayers!"



Thank You Bakers!

From Jessica- one of our recent soldiers...
I would like to thank you for the support of our Marines out here in Afghanistan. The shop really enjoyed the care package and the cookies definitely went quickly. And the chap stick/lip gloss is always good out here too. It's a pretty dry and dusty place all around. Please let everyone know that is involved in the baking club that they are greatly appreciated. Your support and generosity goes along way and makes the Marines day. Thank you from VMFA-122."



dear cookie ladies for the troops
i wanted to say thanks soooooooooo much and so does mark our son you supported his troop.
he came home for good this xmas oh how great.
he said the troops really appreciate the support and wishes everyone a happy new year.
he recieved 4 medals of honor and was promoted srgt.
we are so proud of him and thankful he is home.
thanks again theresa hammond


Thank you Bakers!

From Rob-

I hope this finds you in good health and spirits. Thank you all for the delicious cookies, We all loved them. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and may God Bless!


Rob A


Cookies Received!!

Just received this email from Karen, the mom of one of our December soldiers, "Dan just emailed me to say he received 14 boxes of cookies! He wants to thank all of the bakers for sending this most welcome surprise to him and his Unit. they are really enjoying a "taste from home"."
Happy to say there are more on the way! ;-)


Great News!

I just received this email from the mom of one of our soldiers from June.
"My son, Cpl John Diller, has completed his tour in Afghanistan and made it home safely in October. His child was born on October 25th, a beautiful baby girl.
Thank you again to all the bakers who made such a difference in his life.
Attached are some pictures.


Thanks from Brandon

I was wanting to say thank you so much for the cookies- they are wonderful. myself and buddies love them so.
once again thank you and god bless!!!!


Thanks from Julianne

Thank you and the rest of the Baking Gals so much for the package of cookies. They were delicious and enjoyed by many soldiers here where I work. We all really appreciate the support from home, especially when that support comes in the form of cookies.
Julianne Ivany
Basra, Iraq


We Support Our Troops!!!

We received this email from Bronwyn, the mom of one of our soldiers......
"My son finally was able to call me from Afghanistan yesterday. John has been on a very dangerous outpost and has, up until now, been out of contact from most of the world. He made a specific point to ask me to email the people who sent cookies. He went on and on about all the cookies he had been receiving. He and his fellow Marines have been very appreciative of all the cookies, letters and encouragement. It meant alot to all of them.
I have to tell you what he told me about how he has been using some of the cookies. Because everyone has sent so many, John and his other three unit members eat and enjoy half of each delivery. The other half, they give to the Afghan children at the base of the hill they are on. Because of this kind gesture, the kids are now sending messages to my son whenever the Taliban are planning to attack his hill. Your cookies have help to save my son's life many times over!
I thank all of you for sending the cookies and for the unexpected benefit they provided.
He felt bad that he could not email all the bakers individually who send their address but he has not had any internet since April. John asked that I email on his behalf and thank everyone profusely.
Blessing of God on all of you and the fruit of your labor!"
sent on behalf of Cpl. John D.


Thanks from Geoff!

Please send along my thanks for all the cookies and breads! It was
quite a surprise and everyone enjoyed the packages. I really
appreciate the support of the Ohio Bakers - actually everyone who got
to share this with me does! We really appreciate a piece of home .
Thank you for the well wishes and support.

Your proud soldier,

SPC Geoff Correa


Our Mission Reinforced!

From Jake's mom......" I want to say to all of you who have sent Jake cards and care packages, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! He doesn't have the time or resources to thank all of you personally, but he has told Neal and I both how much getting mail and packages has meant to him. When they are traveling out on missions, they have to eat MRE's (a military meal that is dried and preserved in a box). Jake said that they shove as many cookies, cereal bars, jerky and snacks that they can into their packs, so that they don't have to eat "that other shit"."


Passing Along Thanks!

Elaine writes, "I would like to also pass on great thanks for all the cookies received by Thamir Rimbert. He told his brother, my son in law, how wonderful it was to receive them and to know that so many people care about them being over there."


Thanks Baking Gals!

I was recently deployed to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan this past year and just returned home, and I wanted to thank you and everyone associated with the baking gals for taking the time to bake cookies for all of us overseas. My unit and I enjoyed the cookies, especially during Christmas, when being away from home can be very difficult. It was nice to know that people still care about the all of us overseas. Thank you so much.
SPC Benjamin Sargent
447th MP CO Ohio


Another Soldier is Back Home!

Thought you would be happy to know that John returned home recently. I know I am happy to forward this great news! John and his National Guard Unit, based out of Green, all arrived home safe and sound.
Again he wishes to express his gratitude to everyone who sent him cookies!
Massillon, OH


Thanks Bakers!

One of our bakers, Pat, received this thank you today....
I recently recieved the box of baked goods you sent and wanted to express my deepest gratitude. My unit is stationed at a small joint security station with a very prmitive mess hall, so your home cooking came as a huge treat. My soldiers send their regards and thanks aswell. Thank you very much for the nice letter and kind words. I cant tell you how nice it is to recieve such support from back home. Iam also Catholic, so your prayers are also greatly appreciated--please tell your church thank you for me--it really means alot to me. God bless.
CPT Brian Ivany


Read About Us!!

A wonderful article in the Elyria Chronicle Telegram today on our group. Trying to find the link...


A Haiku for the Bakers

One of OHBakes bakers received this haiku from one of her son's friends. HAD to pass it on!

Far away from home
Feelings of family seem near
When I taste cookies


Email from Afghanistan

We recently received this email from one of our soldiers, Ryan.

"Thank You very much for your support. It's boxes like this that keep our morale up during rough times which a frequent over here. Our living conditions are not the greatest , 17 soldiers to a tent. And our heating and AC rarely work. We shower in tents and eat chow in tents, there are no hard structures like they have in Iraq. Afghanistan is a very dirty, rough, and hasty environment, but we are getting the job done. We dont love violence but we will do whatever is necessary to eradicate the Taliban and liberate the Afghani people. They are a very good a loyal people whom are under privelaged, poor, and un-educated. We are changing their opinions of the Western World and showing them what life is like when you are free. We are showing this war torn country that people do care about them and they are rtesponding very well to us. I cannot tell you about my mission because the Government classified it as SECRET, but I can tell yo that we are bringing the fight to the Taliban everyday, and we are winning the hearts of the Afghan people. Thanks again for your support, it is pople like you that give us a sweet reminder of why we fight. This has been the craziest time of my life. I have gone from the college classroom where I was learning about Finance to a warzone where everyday my life is in a constant danger. I cannot describe my feelings in words, but I can tell you that even though this is really hard and some day's have brought the most pain physically and emotionally that I have ever felt, I am still glad to be doing what I am doing and wouldnt have it any other way. I signed up because I have lived the perfect American life with the perfect American people so there is no reason why I should not give a little back to my country. Your support is much appreciated.
Thank You
-Spc. Ryan"


This Is WHY We Do What We Do!!

Dear Bakers,
My son, Ryan told me just emailed me to tell you how much they all appreciated the cookies and brownies you sent.
The soldiers in his unit have been working very hard. They are not on a base and so the food has been pretty poor to this point! Sometimes they get back to their camp and there is no food for them. They were all excited to receive the good homemade food you sent.
Thank you for baking for the MP 447th unit!
Penny and Tom


A Father's Thank You

Thanks again to you & your team for baking all those wonderful cookies which came to my Son, Russ in Afganistan. He sure appreciated all those wonderful goodies that he received.
Just wanted to let you know, he home Safe now. My Wife & I went to Raleigh, NC & met his Plane that came in from the Far East. He arrived on Jan 13, 2010. He was really beat, and the time zones with approximately 11 hours difference between here & there.
Again, Thanks & God Bless


More Families Send Thanks!

Dear Baking Gals,
Ben has received your cookies! We just wanted to thank you again. He plans on writing you a thank you when he gets his leave the end of Jan., but he asked me if I would let you know that he had received them. Have a blessed holiday, and thanks again for your kindness!

Also from Joe (the father of Russ)
"......THANK YOU VERY MUCH for making his Christmas very tasty.........
You guys sure do a wonderful job for the Troops. Thanks again.
God Bless & Merry Christmas & Happy New Year." Joe


Thanks from Jim's Family

I’m Jan and your group sent cookies to my Jim this month.(November Group 3) I can’t tell you how thrilled he was to receive them!

He received 3 or 4 boxes at the beginning of the month. Then he had to go out on some missions up in the mountains. At that time, he took a turkey and fixings plus a box of “his home made” cookies to share with his soldiers. As this group was far up in the mountains, they were sure they would not have a Thanksgiving dinner let alone ‘real” cookies.

Upon his return to base camp, he found several more boxes of cookies. He called his wife to tell her about them. She said it was the first time in a long time she heard laughter in their conversation.

Your thoughtfulness brings much joy to these soldiers and their families. God bless you and all the bakers working on your project.




Matt and His Family Send Thanks!!

From Matt (Our December soldier-Group 1)
"I just recieved your care package. I just wanted to say thank you so much it was really nice of you to take time out of your day and think of us! There are 41 Firefighters here with me who all wanted to say thanks! We are all enjoying the great baking you have sent here. Can you please inform anyone else who may have helped with this package that it has arrived and we are all very thankful!! Once again Thank you, your support really means alot to us!"
Matt Smith
Kirkuk, Iraq

From Matt's mom Betsy
"I just received an email from Matt about the wonderful cookies, slim jims, cakes, peanuts, etc... he said they have received care packages before from military support groups but this was so much better then they have ever received. He wanted to know if I knew who sent them since the [some of the] boxes were from Westlake, so close to home. .......I too can not thank you enough. It brings tears to my eyes to think how very thoughtful you are to think of my Matt. I know how much this means to him, not being able to be home for the holidays. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart."


Our Baking Gals Get an Award!

Scott and his unit were kind enough pass on their appreciation to our bakers!!!
It reads, "In recognition of your generous contributions to 1-137th Delta Company Assault Helicopter battalion. We greatly appreciate your support to our Troops in the fight. Your thoughtfulness has brought an outlet to many service members as they serve away from their families and homes. We are proud to serve the wonderful citizens of out nation."
Thank you Scott!! It's our pleasure.


We have heard from Becky, the mom of one of our August soldiers, Matt Perrings. Matt called and said to tell everyone thank you for the cookies. He was so surprised and got so many that his unit enjoyed also and sends thanks. Matt has been promoted to Sgt. and he is to finish this tour in December and should be home for a few weeks , hopefully on Christmas.

Also from the parents of Kevin Quinn, one of our October airmen comes word that Kevin and his fellow servicemen were thrilled with the packages. He was able to share with others at a distant outpost. His dad said as one of a few Air Force on an Army base, the cookies made him a popular guy!




...... what you and all of the bakers do means so much to these guys. It's just the feeling that they get when they receive these cookies and it reminds them of home......
.....Thank you and everyone so much for thinking of Chris. Your hard work just means everything to these men and women......
All the best,
Karen Bragg


A Soldier's Mom Thanks you!


Hi Baking Gal's of Ohio :^D

My son, Marine Corporal Tyler Kantorowski was one of your featured soldiers for the month of June.
Tyler is in Iraq and is part of the CLB-4 Combat Engineer Division.
He called me on Monday (8/10) and was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the 8 boxes of cookies he received that day, he told me one of the rules is when you receive a package you have to empty it from the box and take the contents out immediately and put them into a plastic bag and burn the box with all addresses that it was packaged in. He said he couldnt believe it, EIGHT boxes in one day, and 3 of the ladies had packaged their goods together in one box so that was 10 bakers and dozens and dozens of cookies. He said the boxes were all dated June, the most current with a date of June 20th - so since they have been on the road working these packages took 7-10 weeks to catch up with him. He said he copied down as many names as he could before the boxes and packaging were taken away to be burned and wanted to give a heartfelt shout out to: ...
all the ...wonderful bakers that singled him out and made his life a lot brighter that day and many days to follow before the sweets ran out.

Ty said he was immediately surrounded by all the guys looking to see what he had received and what he was sharing with them all. Tyler said it was so wonderful to have a little taste of home and they made great snacks to fill their pockets with out on the road.

Ladies, I tear up when I think of all of you baking for our troops and especially all the prayers that are sent up in their names. Thank you all. Thank you for making my son your Marine for June and for all the prayer directed right at him. Thank you for all your time and all the love and support that went into every batch of every baked good sent. Every day is such a struggle and without FAITH in our DEAR LORD I truly don't think I could have made it thus far, in fact I know I couldnt have. So thank you. :^D This Marine Mami continues to feel so very blessed and very proud of my son and all our military men and women.
Here are a few pics of Ty and his guys. (Tyler is always the tallest one out of the group) :^D


Cheryl Kantorowski


Our Soldiers Share!

One of our bakers, Marilyn, forwarded this email to me. It shows a little how our group works.
I just want to thank you very much for your cookies that you sent. One
of my fellow Captains, CPT Tony Cox, shared his care package with me and
the cookies are so good!!!!
I appreciate you taking the time to do that for the Soldiers.
With Great Respect,
3rd Brigade Combat Team


Soldier Thank You

My name is Tony Cox .... I just wanted to thank you for the cookies I received a couple days ago. They were honestly some of the best cookies I've ever had! My soldiers and I love them. (Or, I should say, loved them... they were gone pretty quickly.) The funny thing is that since they were sitting in our mail container outside, the packages were still warm when they got to us, so it was almost like they just came out of the over when they got to us!
Thanks again from me and my team.

All the best,
Tony Cox


Soldier Thank You

Dear Operation Baking Gals,

I would like to take this time the thank the Operation Baking Gals for the recent delivery of cookies to Eric Augustine. I can’t even explain to you how this has really picked up his spirits while deployed. It seems that he has been labeled the cookie man on the ship. This is the first time Eric has been away from home so your thoughts and gifts of cookies has been greatly appreciated. Please tell those other men and women who are involved in this project that the Augustine family has greatly appreciated your tasty treats and thoughts of those who are serving abroad. We keep all of you in our prayers.


John, Denise and Jamie Augustine


Love You More Than You Know....

That's the title of a new book by Janie Reinart and Mary Anne Mayer. Subtitled Mothers' Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War, it has the essays of 45 mothers of U.S. service men and women, mostly from Ohio, who open their hearts and share what it feels like when your son or daughter leaves home to fight a war. A portion of the proceeds for sales of this book will be donated to ReMind.org, a Bob Woodruff Foundation initiative and to the Semper Fi Injured Marines Fund.

Gloria Frombach, the mother of our December soldier, Matt, has eloquently told her story. If you click here, it will take you to a link to the book and you can get a free sample of Gloria's essay on pg 44.
Reading these stories gives us insight to the sacrifice families like this are making every day.


A Family Thank You

Here is a thank you letter and pictures we received. I have more to post, but am running out of time!!!!

"With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I'm not sure I officially thanked you for sending a baking package to Jon. He did most certainly receive it and was so thrilled. It really made a difficult time more tolerable. I think the holidays in general were okay there, but the actual Christmas Day had some violence and I think he wasn't really mentally prepared for that.
He was home for his leave in February and it was wonderful to see him.... Thanks so much again for thinking of Jon and I'm so sorry my thanks are so late. If you are interested, I attached his latest email. He's really doing some interesting and different things now. It sure is a different world over there...."


Hello All!
Today I had a couple early missions and I was done with my duty day by 13:00 (1pm). The afternoon off it not only gave me a chance to take a nap but also a chance to think, and I realized I haven't sent an email to everyone in a long time. Ever since getting back to Mahmudiyah after my R&R leave I have sort of gotten into a groove. I rarely know the date or what day of the week it is.
My attachment to Delta Company has been going well. We have some exciting moments, but thankfully we have plenty of dull ones too. Last week I spent a few very long days on an Iraqi Army Compound teaching Iraqi soldiers "Combat Lifesaver" skills. (the Army's phrase for First Aid) I will try to attach some pictures of the classes. The classes went well. The Iraqis were very eager to learn. Trying to teach a group of guys how to initiate an IV is pretty interesting when the majority of them did not even know what a vein was before we began! They did a good job though, and not too much blood was shed as we practiced on each other.
Most of my missions are humanitarian in nature. We go out and help (re)establish businesses. Ranging from fish farms to little corner markets. We are literally throwing tons of money at these people. Honestly it can be a bit aggravating watching all these funds get handed out knowing that our own country is in a financial crisis. There are times I feel we are doing some real good over here, but a lot of the time I get the feeling we are pushing democracy onto a nation of people who don't really want it.
Today we went to a chicken farm. We were escorting a couple guys from the USDA so they could teach the farmers how to vaccinate their chicks. It is one of the many businesses we are funding. It is interesting and boring at the same time. I never would have thought I would be pulling security on a farm for 3 hours while we were dehydrating chicks so they would drink their medicine. It is up there with watching paint dry. Strange days! While the chicks drank their medicine we took a break and accepted Chai Tea from the farm owner's children. This happens a lot at the homes and businesses we visit. They love their Chai Tea here! Iraqis usually drink it out of the saucer. I drink it from the glass. I just don't want to end up wearing half of it....



Come join us!

We are in the process of sending baked goods to our March soldier, stationed in Afghanistan. If you would like to join in, once or on an ongoing basis, send an email to the address listed on the left!


Letters From Soldiers and Families

Happy New Year!
Thank you so much for your support to our soldiers! Y'all are amazing!
It is our pleasure to be able to bring a little bit of home to someone so far away from family.

I want to share some letters and comments we have received in the last month....

"As A mother of a son in Iraq this holiday season, I just wanted to say Thank You for what you are doing. Have a wonderful holiday!"

"thanks ....
again for your COOKIES
for Doug last month. God Bless you !" Laurie and Jim
Dear Baking gals,

This is Doug Weigelt writing you back to thank you all for the cookies and
thoughtfulness to go out of your way to think of us. We really enjoyed your
cookies and everybody here wants to thank you for all that your are doing in
your efforts to support the troops. The cookies were tremendous and your
generosity does not go unnoticed. I would personally like to thank you and if
there is anything you would like me or the guys to do for you back home just let
me know. I am sorry that it has taken so long for me to get back to you, it was
unfair to you ladies for me to wait this long to respond, but as you are aware
I'm sure, we don't always have the time to get online as often as we would like.
But take care and again thank you very much for your cookies and thoughts.
Doug Weigelt

Thank you very much for all of the great cookies. I have to tell you, that was one of the most impressive things I have seen during my 15 months in Iraq. I have never seen so many cookies...Everyone here enjoyed them and it meant a lot to us that there are people at home that are thinking of us. I hope you have a great holiday and I can't thank you enough for what you are doing.
Matt Frombach

We continue to bake each month for a different soldier. If you would like to join our effort, please drop me an email at zimmOhio@aol.com. I will email you when we are baking. You can bake one time or each month.
I want to wish each of you a healthy and prosperous New Year.


How to Ship / FAQs

Here is a link for important info about packing and shipping, and the customs form (which will double as your shipping label). NOTE - in Box 10- if non-deliverable, check "redirect to address below" and add "any local chaplain".

Please use a FREE Military Flat Rate Large box- available from the Post office- also get a customs form while you are there. This box costs $11.95 to ship no matter the weight and is usually much less expensive than any other box.

Add a card, as you would to a pen pal! Also, on the mailing label include Operation Baking Gals along with your name and address in the "from" line. In addition to your customs mailing label, USPS asks that to soldier's name/address info also be written directly on the box.

Here are some more personal tips from a mom who sends goodies-"Most things such as cookies, muffins, cupcakes, loaf quickbreads, I use my Seal a Meal. I seal them as far as I can without smashing them. Then pack them in a box of styrofoam peanuts. Typical way of boxing them. Oh, I also FREEZE them first!! Just to make them last a few extra days. My son said he forgot about some muffins once for 3 weeks since they were out on a mission, and they were just as fresh as freshly baked! So I don't know if it was the Seal a Meal or not. But I would say just pack them as protected as possible. Don't bother to send anything chocolate as it will melt no matter how you try it.
With the seal a meal, everything somehow is compact and able to layer things easily. So that's how I do it. Without it, it'd be a lot of packing in layers of styrofoam wrappings
I freeze then after I seal them, that way I can stack them all up in the freezer to save space. I do a lot of baking on some days and process a bunch of stuff, and then when I send out a package I pull out whatever I have in there. I also seal and freeze things like Little Debbie treat, etc.
Oh, I also, eve though it's a lot more work, seal up like individual size package. Such as 6 cookies to a pack, or 2 muffins. So in case my son is passing something out or someone is there when he's opening a package, he can just toss them cookies, muffins without giving them ALL the goodies!."
Note- I used my food vac and sucked as much air out, before they started to smash. - but didn't freeze. Please remember to NOT send any pork products or meltables- chips in cookies seem to be ok at some times of the year, but when it is summer you may want to use candy coated chips as it gets quite HOT!


We had great show of support for our soldier, Doug of Bay Village, Ohio, a fire and rescue airman stationed in Iraq. I want to send a sincere thank you to all of you who baked! We sent our soldier so much love!
I heard back from Doug's mom Laurie, after he received a couple of the first boxes.
"Yea !!!!! Doug called this morning from Iraq...he just received the
cookies in two seperate boxes....he said they were consumed within
minutes as he shared them with others. An F-18 airplane exploded on
base last night and they had been working for 11 hours controlling the
fire and haz- mat materials. He has lost 15 lbs since Sept. so the
cookies were so appreciated. I hope he will write or email you, but
do know how awesome you gals are for doing this for our military men
and women. Not only did this show Christ to Doug but it was such a
blessing to ME since last year we did Bravery Boxes and Doug was
stateside at MacDill AFB in Tampa land now someone did it for my son
this year !!!! God is GOOD....
Blessings to you and all your bakers !!!

Christmas is coming and it won't take much to bake a few dozen extra cookies for a soldier. We will be sending again before Christmas and we would LOVE for you to join our effort! Send me an email if you would like more info.
If you have a soldier you would like us to bake for in the coming months, PLEASE drop me a line.


Getting Up to Speed!>>>

We are getting ready to send our first shipment to our soldier. I wanted to let those who have inquired if we are accepting soldiers' names- the answer is a resounding YES! Please email me (zimmOhio@aol.com) the name of your soldier and we will be honored to fit him into one of our months ahead.
Thanks to everyone for all the support!


OH Bakes Introduction-Join Us in Baking for Local Troops Stationed Overseas

Calling All Northern Ohio Bakers!
Hi! My name is Fran Z and I live in Northern Ohio. I have been a member of Operation Baking Gals (started by Susan of the blog I'm Becoming DoughMessTic), a great group whose mission has been bombarding our troops overseas with homemade cookies and care packages.
Recently, you may have heard that another of our local soldiers was killed in action- Capt. Mike Medders, Jr. of Avon Lake. So heartbreaking - but Capt. Medders knew the realities he would face at war and chose to enlist anyway. Nothing less than a true American hero. I did not know Capt. Medders personally, but I went to high school with his mom, Lynn, and worked at one time with his dad, Mike.
While I was attending services for Capt Medders I had the chance to talk to a few parents of servicemen and women and told them about the mission of Operation Baking Gals. The people I talked to were so supportive of our little group and encouraged me more by telling me that a lot of soldiers actually receive very few packages from home.
That being said, I emailed Susan and received her blessing to start a more localized group. The plan is to get a group of Ohio bakers, moms, families, and any others who are interested in baking once a month, and send care packages to local servicemen and women stationed overseas. Initially we will all send to one soldier each month, with a new soldier picked each month (to see how this plays out).
If you get a free Military Flat Rate box from the post office, it cost $10.95 to ship all you can fit into the box.
So, I am looking for some volunteers.Would you join the effort?? Could you maybe bake one thing, seal it up and ship it to him? Maybe get a group together to send a box? Would you spread the word??? We all do this on the same week, so he’ll get them all about the same time. Imagine how happy all those homesick troops will be to have homemade goodies!! You can make anything you want, and you really only need to wrap it in plastic and then a freezer bag (with a piece of bread to soak up moisture) or, if you have a vacuum sealer, that would be great. It takes about 7 days for them to get packages, so bear that in mind when choosing something to bake. Cookies of all kinds, bars, even things like trail mix would work well. Anything except pork or meltables!
Please just shoot me a quick email back (zimmOhio@aol.com) letting me know if you are up for this (I really hope you are, I know we Clevelanders and Ohioans have big hearts – and hey – get the kids in on it too – make it a family affair - let them see the lift we get from giving!)

Once I hear from you, I will supply you with the address to send the goodies and any other pertinent information.
Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. I really do appreciate it. And while we may not be cheerleaders, I think this could be a really great morale boosting endeavor…don’t you agree??