Members of the American Legion Earl Graham Post 159 Junior Shooting Sports Program in Bryan, Texas, brought Christmas cheer to local servicemembers deployed to the Texas-Mexico border with its Operation Christmas Cookie Border Run.
In a matter of 10 days, Post 159’s JSSP youth, parents and Legion Family members collected 600 Christmas cards, 400 candy canes, nearly 900 homemade cookies, thousands of store-bought cookies, and $125 for its Troop Box program.
James Andrews, Post 159 second vice commander, and Joshua Hamm, an Afghanistan combat veteran and a parent of a JSSP participant, delivered the cookies and care packages a week before Christmas to nearly 200 Bryan-based servicemembers deployed with the 1-112th Cavalry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard.
It was short notice that Post 159 learned of an opportunity to bring holiday cheer to the deployed Texas Army National Guardsmen from Bryan.
The JSSP team discussed the cookie idea at a Monday night practice. And by the following Monday, team members promoted the cookie drive by creating and distributing flyers, making phone calls, sending emails, publicizing on social media, and hosting two collection events.
“Operation Christmas Cookie Border Run reflects the veterans still serving approach of The American Legion,” Andrews wrote. “This Legion post’s youth program taking a leadership role in supporting and encouraging local servicemembers away from their friends and families for the holidays reflects the desire of Legionnaires to impart in youth the values of service and appreciation for duty to community, state and nation.”