A Girl Scout from Tupper Lake got a special thank-you from troops stationed in Afghanistan this week.
Marissa Moeller, 7, is part of Brownie Troop 4123 in Tupper Lake. During a ceremony Wednesday evening at the former Holy Ghost Academy, she received a certified American flag from Master Sgt. Kimberly Kopp, who belongs to the 337th Airlift Squadron at the Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Mass. The flag had been flown in Marissa’s honor by troops at a hospital near the Balad Air Base in Afghanistan.
Earlier this year, Marissa, a second-grader at L.P. Quinn Elementary School, raised 17 extra boxes of Girl Scout cookies and was given the choice of donating them to a charity or group of her choice. Her mother, Wendy, said she gave Marissa several options and noted that last year, her troop donated extra cookies to soldiers stationed overseas.
“And her words were, ‘How about we give them to soldiers who are hurt to make them feel better,’” Wendy said.
Wendy said they tried to send the cookies to wounded soldiers through the American Red Cross, but they weren’t successful. They tried several other avenues, too, but didn’t have any luck, so Wendy reached out to Kopp.
“She took them to her squadron,” Wendy said.
At the Westover Air Reserve Base, Kopp and Sgt. Ryan Connolly checked mission schedules to find out when the next mission into their “area of responsibility” took place.
“When the plane landed in Balad, the loadmasters took the cookies right to the hospital where front-line wounded soldiers got to eat them,” Kopp said. “She did have every box decorated with drawings and her name and troop number.”
“I wanted soldiers who were hurt to feel better or at least smile,” Marissa said.
Marissa said she sent troops the most popular types of Girl Scout cookies: Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Samoas.
Asked what it was like to receive a flag from the wounded troops who got to enjoy the cookies, Marissa said it was “the greatest thing that ever happened to me.” She said her father, Terry, will put the flag in a special case.
Marissa also received a certificate that states the flag was flown during the Strategic Airlift Mission over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. It honors Brownie Troop 4123 for its dedication and support of wounded warriors and American troops across the globe.
Marissa said she’s not finished helping and honoring U.S. troops.
“On Memorial Day we will go to the service or try to raise money in the future for more hurt soldiers,” she said.
By CHRIS MORRIS – Staff Writer (firstname.lastname@example.org) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise