USS JOHN F. KENNEDY, At Sea (NNS) -- Sacrifices are inherent to military life. A six month deployment separates service members from families, friends and the day-to-day life they know and have sworn to protect. For those serving their country, these are known and accepted sacrifices.
After all, that's how the cookie crumbles.
Sailors aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) were recently treated to a sweet taste of home while being deployed to the North Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. A shipment of Girl Scout Cookies -- more than 8,000 pounds of the delightful treats -- were delivered courtesy of big-screen actor Bruce Willis, and his philanthropic daughter.
Willis' 8-year-old daughter, Tallulah Belle Willis, along with her cousins, Katie and Haley Rogers, came up with the idea to donate the cookies to Sailors, soldiers, Marines and airmen deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Inspired by his daughter and nieces, Willis donated 12,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies for shipment to military personnel forward-deployed in the Middle East.
Before the cookies were distributed, Kennedy's commanding officer, Capt. Ronald H. Henderson Jr., spoke to the crew and expressed his thanks to Mr. Willis and his daughter.
"You know it's really hard to be a Sailor, we all know that," he said. "We give up a lot of comforts and most of our privacy. But, one of the most important things we give up is some of the rhythms of American life. One of the American traditions we miss most is Girl Scouts coming around and selling their cookies," said Henderson. "I'm really pleased with the support of Mr. Willis and his daughter and I thank them for providing us with a small taste of America."
When the cookies arrived aboard Kennedy, a former Girl Scout, Aerographer's Mate 3rd Class Tehirah Barkum of Kennedy's weather office, received the first box from Henderson. "I love Girl Scout cookies and used to be a scout myself," Barkum said. "It is so nice and feels good knowing people out there are supporting what we are doing out here. It's not every day that you get to eat a Girl Scout cookie and I was glad to be the first to get a box!"
Command Master Chief (SW/SS) Kevin C. Davis of JFK also expressed his thanks. "The men and women of 'Big John' are grateful and humbled at the support shown by Mr. Willis. Many of the Sailors could not believe that Bruce Willis and his family took the time to make sure these cookies reached us." Davis added, "One Sailor asked me to thank Mr. Willis. He said if Bruce was able to get his old band out here for a show, he would thank him personally!"
Thanks to the big heart of Tallulah Belle and the support of her father, Kennedy Sailors had the opportunity to partake in one of the American traditions they might have missed while supporting and defending their nation.
More information about USS John F. Kennedy can be found at www.navy.mil/hompages/cv67. More news can be found on their NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cv67/.