Members from Boy Scout Troop 115, part of the Baltimore Area Council, teamed up with Guantanamo Bay’s BST 435 to deliver tins of popcorn to Marines with Marine Corps Security Force Company Guantanamo. This distribution of the confectionary corn snack is the first of many which is intended to reach every service member here at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.
Air Force Lt. Col. Denise Boyer, commander of the 474th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, coordinated much of the effort to get the popcorn down to Guantanamo Bay. Her two sons are scouts in Maryland, and upon seeing the large number of Girl Scout cookies delivered here earlier this year, she wanted to get Boy Scout popcorn here.
“Every year my boys sell Boy Scout popcorn, and one of the options is to make a donation to the Service members,” said Boyer. “Our Boy Scouts distribute at Baltimore Washington International Airport when Service members are coming back from the field. Most service members say they would rather have it in the field than when they come home.”
In order to have the popcorn reach Service members in the field, Boyer arranged transportation for the popcorn with the Office of Military Commissions flights from Andrews Air Force Base.
“I approached the subject of getting stuff down here, and talked with the local service members and to the one back in Baltimore to figure out some way to get some donated popcorn here,” said Boyer. “The Baltimore Area Council approved to send 4,000 to 6,000 pounds of popcorn to Service members stationed at Guantanamo. It is overwhelming to see how much popcorn they were willing to send here.”
Shipments are arriving, and Boyer’s two sons and husband made the trip to distribute the first tins alongside the local service members. The plan for distribution was first to the MCSFCO who work outer security for the naval station.
“The first people we wanted to give to were the Marines at Guantanamo who work the fence line,” said Boyer. “For many of them, this is their first deployment. Sometimes it will be their very first time away from home for Christmas. We wanted to do something special for them.”
Marine Lance Cpl. Aaron Purkiss, a MCSFCO member and Eagle Scout, said he enjoyed the visit from the scouts and the work they are doing.
“Boy Scouts always have that spirit of helping out, doing some service for others and doing what is right,” said Purkiss. “Thank you, Boy Scouts of America. Thank you for coming here and treating us.”
Continued distribution of the popcorn is expected in the coming weeks to reach all Joint Task Force and U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay service members.
For more information about Joint Task Force Guantanamo, visit the Web site at www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil.
Article by Spc. David Mclean, Joint Task Force Guantanamo Public Affairs
There was also a short video clip that was produced about this story: