Girl Scout Daisy Troop #1069 of Benfield Elementary School, led by Dawn Major and Stephanie Turnbach, greeted 200 soldiers with cookies and cards upon arrival at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on Thursday night.
All of the girls participated in the cookie sales and provided donations for the arriving soldiers.
"This was a very good experience for the girls and something they will remember. It was such a wonderful opportunity," Carla Petruccy wrote in an email.
Petruccy, along with Cecilia Surodjawan, handled the cookie sales for the troop and coordinated the Operation Welcome Home donations.
While the girls waited for the troops to arrive, they made cards and wrote messages to give to the soldiers along with the cookies. The airport lobby area was decorated with posters to welcome them home and to thank them for their service and the sacrifices that they make for our country, Petruccy said in her email.
Operation Welcome Home volunteers assemble goodie bags from donations for all of the soldiers.
Petruccy said nine families were waiting for loved ones to come in, along with the Daisy troop and a Brownie troop from Pasadena, the Honor Society from Wheaton High School, volunteers from Operation Welcome Home and a host of other well-wishers that had come to welcome home the troops.
"Upon arrival, people were applauding, ringing cow bells, and waving flags to show their support," Petruccy said in the email. "The girls handed out the cookies and the cards, gave the soldiers high fives, shook hands and welcomed them home."
There was a group of female soldiers that really took to the girls. One told the girls she was a Girl Scout for 13 years, Petruccy said.
"They took pictures with the girls and also wanted pictures with the girls with their cameras," Petruccy said in the email. "They were fabulous. We also got the opportunity while we were waiting to talk to a couple of families that were waiting for their loved one.
"We talked to a family that had two little boys and were waiting for their daddy to come in. It was a very emotional yet a very rewarding opportunity for all of us...and who doesn't like a good Girl Scout cookie!"
Other community activities for the Daisy troop include "Project Homework" with the Chartwell Garden Club at Christmas when, along with a local Brownie troop, the girls made stockings and provided a low-income housing community in Annapolis with school supplies.