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Homemade treats delivered to Airmen, Soldiers
Volunteers from around base put together goodie bags for Operation Sweet Treat in the Officers’ Club at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Dec. 7, 2013. OST is a program hosted by the Enlisted and Officers’ Spouses’ Clubs to bring holiday cheer to unaccompanied service members. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum)
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Homemade treats delivered to Airmen, Soldiers

Posted 12/10/2013   Updated 12/10/2013 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/10/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- Unaccompanied Airmen and Soldiers around base will be receiving a small token of holiday cheer this week thanks to Operation Sweet Treat.

After a full day of more than 350 Air Force and U.S. Army volunteers preparing enough goodie bags for unaccompanied service members at both Osan and Kunsan Air Base, the treats are now being distributed by the base first sergeants.

Airman 1st Class Mathew Tencza, 51st Mission Support Group knowledge operations manager, was visited by the Kim family to bring him his collection of treats.

"It definitely hit home because I miss being around my family during the holidays," Tencza said. "I come from a very lively family and we always have a big party on Christmas Eve."

Senior Master Sgt. Lee Schmidt, 51st Munitions Squadron first sergeant, said he thinks the project was a success.

"The goodie bags are just a part of it," Schmidt said. "It is the feeling that someone spent the time to bake cookies and provide them with a little taste of home while they're away from their families that really matters."

Nearly 9,000 goodie bags were assembled, each containing a packet of hot chocolate, cookies, candy, chips and a pack of noodles, along with a holiday greeting, many of them made by hand.

Schmidt said although being away from home during the holidays isn't an ideal situation, one should make the best of it by taking advantage of the time they have in the Republic of Korea.

"Make sure you call someone who has had an impact on your life and tell them thank you," Schmidt said. "Thank you for what you do day in and day out for the security of our nation. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

Tencza has been at Osan since May and said he has many friends here to spend time with during the holiday season.

"I appreciate the fact that even though they didn't know me personally, someone cared about me enough to do this," Tencza said. "It proves that there's good in everyone, especially during the holidays."

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