Sakumoto Toshiro, tracker-trailer driver for the Okinawa Distribution Center, unloads boxes of Girl Scout cookies for expectant Girl Scouts volunteers. The Exchange has supported the Girl Scouts for more than 20 years by shipping cookies to overseas military installations in time for their annual selling season.
Sakumoto Toshiro, tracker-trailer driver for the Okinawa Distribution Center, unloads boxes of Girl Scout cookies for expectant Girl Scouts volunteers. The Exchange has supported the Girl Scouts for more than 20 years by shipping cookies to overseas military installations in time for their annual selling season.

Exchange brings Girl Scout cookies to military families overseas

by Alexandra Pirkle
Army & Air Force Exchange Service HQ

DALLAS — A taste of home goes a long way for military families living in Europe and the Pacific. For more than 20 years, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has supported Girl Scout troops by shipping their famous cookies to military installations outside of the United States in time for their annual selling season.

In 2019, the Department of Defense’s largest retailer delivered more than 10,000 cases of Girl Scout cookies throughout Europe and more than 7,500 cases in Japan and Korea. This support brings a taste of home and an American tradition to Warfighters and families while underscoring the Exchange’s mission of going where troops go.

“The Exchange is honored to bring some familiar favorites to military families serving overseas,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “In addition to the tasty treats, working with the Girl Scouts provides military children the opportunity to participate in a service activity they might be missing back home.”

Exchange associates Iseea Thomas and David Degroot, who work at the Department of Defense retailer’s Germersheim Distribution Center in Germany, recently volunteered to
drive more than 50 miles in rush-hour traffic to deliver cookies to the U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder so the Girl Scouts there would have them to sell over the weekend.

“If the military community needs assistance, and the Exchange can help, we are happy to do it,” Degroot said.

Associates at the Okinawa Distribution Center processed more than 2,500 cases of cookies and delivered them to Girl Scout troops at Kadena Air Base and Camps Courtney, Foster and Kinser. More than 3,000 cases were delivered to stores in mainland Japan, and nearly 2,000 cases were delivered to stores in Korea.

The Exchange starts receiving order requests from the Girl Scouts in late October to early November for the January-March selling season. The Exchange then places and processes the orders on behalf of the Girl Scouts in the United States.

The cookies are shipped either directly from the vendor’s bakery in Louisville, Ky., or through the Exchange’s Dan Daniel Distribution Center in Newport News, Va. It takes four to six weeks for the shipments to travel across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

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