December 24th, 2014 08:04 EST
Thanking Service Members One Cupcake at a Time
By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Pink is not a color normally associated with a C-17 Globemaster 3.
Yet there was the workhorse of the Air Force`s transport fleet on the flightline at Joint Base Andrews with two full pallets of pink boxes on the ramp.
This isn`t the garish pink that you see on certain outfits or the Barbie doll pink that assaults the eyes. It was more like Disney princess pink " tasteful and understated " yet still not the color placed on a combat aircraft.
And on the side of each box was written Georgetown Cupcake.
Deanie Dempsey, the wife of Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called it Operation Cupcake. The operation consisted of delivering 10,000 cupcakes donated by this city`s popular Georgetown Cupcake to service members and their families as part of the recent USO tour to Spain, Italy, Turkey and Afghanistan.
It was the fifth year Georgetown Cupcake made the donation to the effort to thank U.S. service members and their families. The effort started when Navy Adm. Mike Mullen was the chairman and led the annual USO trip. Dempsey kept the tradition alive when he took over.
The first year we did this was 2010, because we had just opened our large facility that we use to ship orders all over the country, and this was our very first order that we handled in the new facility, " said Stephen Lamontagne, the president of Georgetown Cupcake, during an interview.
Sophie LaMontagne and her sister, Katherine Berman, started the store in 2008. They rose to prominence with DC Cupcakes, a reality show on The Learning Channel. That, and they make ridiculously good cupcakes.
Sharing those cupcakes with service members and their families is part of the ethos of their business, Lamontagne said. In Washington, with so many members of the community in the military or who had connections to the military, it was important for us to give back, " he said.
And service members and their families appreciate it. We get e-mails and letters from them, thanking us for bringing a piece of home to them for the holidays, " Lamontagne said. It`s very hard during the holidays to be overseas on your own in a very unfamiliar place without reminders of things that you remember from your childhood and your life back in the United States. Something as simple as a cupcake " really brings a piece of home and shows our support and care for the troops stationed overseas. "
A lot of care goes into ensuring service members and their families get the freshest product possible. The cupcakes " which retail for $32 a dozen " are baked and immediately frozen. We ship them in a multilayered packaging configuration that includes an insulated pouch with gel packs, " Lamontagne said.
This keeps the cupcakes frozen during transit and by the time the plane touches down and the cupcakes are unwrapped, they are ready to enjoy, " he said.
On the other end, Deanie Dempsey, USO President J.D. Crouch and his wife Kristin and many other passed out cupcakes to service members and their families. Some service members even scooped up the pink boxes to use to pack Christmas packages back home.
Lamontagne hopes to continue the affiliation with the USO and the military. It`s something we are proud to do every year, " he said. It`s our way to thank all the members of the military community, because we understand they make the world a place where we can bake cupcakes.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia