‘Operation: Cookie Drop’ commences

Photos by Staff Sgt. MARCY COPELAND

A decades-long tradition brought a little taste of home during the holidays to Airmen living in the dorms.

The Luke Air Force Base Officers Spouses Club, volunteers and supporters collected and packaged cookies Tuesday and Wednesday for first sergeants to deliver to dorm residents.

“It’s a hard time of year for the Airmen,” said Sarah Shoemaker, wife of Col. David Shoemaker, 56th Fighter Wing Vice commander. “It’s difficult when you’re not with family, and for a lot of these Airmen it is their first Christmas away from their families. We just want to add a little cheer to their Christmas.”

The event is made possible by donors who support the event by providing an estimated 500 dozen cookies for dormitory Airmen.

Sarah Shoemaker, wife of Col. David Shoemaker, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, works alongside other volunteers adding bows to donated cookies packaged for delivery to Airmen living in the dorms. First sergeants delivered the cookies.

“I remember when I was an airman first class living in the dorms,” said Monica Bailey, wife of Col. William Bailey, 56th Operations Group commander. “A senior master sergeant brought me a plate of cookies, and it made me feel good like a sense of home was being handed to me.” 

Delivering 6,000 cookies makes an important statement, according to the first sergeants.

“I love it,” said Master Sgt. Sara Abel, 56th Operations Support Group first sergeant. “This is one of the best parts of being a first sergeant. We get to go out and give these cookies to Airmen and say thank you for everything they do. I think all the first sergeants love it as well. I want to give a big thank you to the spouses’ club and all the wonderful volunteers for putting this event together for our Airmen.”

The annual event brings holiday cheer not just to the Airmen, but also to the volunteers.

“It is a really good feeling to help with this project,” Shoemaker said. “We just want to help bring up morale for Christmas and keep people from being on the down side. We really want to try and bring a little joy to their hearts this holiday season.”

Volunteers package donated cookies Wednesday at Luke Air Force Base. Operation: Cookie Drop took place Tuesday when members of Luke and the surrounding community donated cookies to be given to Airmen living in the dorms who are away from home for the holidays.