Bringing a Taste of Home to Soldiers Fighting in Afghanistan

Bringing a Taste of Home to Soldiers Fighting in AfghanistanABC News
Female Soldiers Received Videos, Photos and Cookies From Back Home

Three female U.S. soldiers whose loved ones back home miss them very much are getting a special delivery from "Good Morning America" in Nangarhar, Afghanistan.

The women are married mothers of young children, and their families are eager to reach out to them across the miles.

Although Scotty Brown talks to his wife, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christina Brown, once a week via webcam, there's a delay in the transmission. Letters also lag, and they speak by telephone only once a week.

VIDEO: Chris Cuomo brings gifts from four families to their loved ones serving in Afghanistan.Play

He was happy to be able to send his wife, who is on her second deployment to Afghanistan in the past three years, something in the interim.

Among other things, she's getting video of her husband and their 19-month-old son, Dakota, whom she hasn't seen in six months. In the video, Scotty Brown talks to the camera as though he were talking to his wife, and Dakota tells his mother "hi," counts and says the letters of the alphabet -- small things that bring tears to Brown's eyes.

"This is my baby. ... I just wish I was there to see him do this stuff," she said.

Brown is working logistics for the Forward Operating Base Finley-Shields in Nangarhar Province. The seven-year member of the Air Force is expected return home to Georgia in a little more than four months.

Like Brown, Sgt. Daneila Bock is stationed at FOB Finley-Shields. A medic in the Air Force, Bock is deployed with the U.S. Army.

Her husband, Craig Cusick, is sending her oatmeal dark-chocolate chip cookies from his own recipe. See next page for recipe.

He's also sending video of himself and of their sons, Cameron, 7, and Colby, 5, alongside other members of the family.

Bock, who married Cusick three days before she was deployed in early July, misses his wife.

He tries to speak to her every night but says it's difficult not knowing what she is doing or where she is, especially because her missions are top secret.

Bock is due to return to Sacramento in March.

Military Couple Gets Word From Grandma

Army Capt. Maria Duran and her husband, Milton, met at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point while they were studying to be pilots.

Now, they both fly Apache helicopters. Milton Duran is on his second deployment to Iraq, while his wife is on her first to Afghanistan, where she plans ground missions in Jalalabad.

Their children, Emily Milton Duran, 4, and Milton Duran Jr., 19 months, are staying with Milton Duran's mother in Tennessee.

Maria Duran is getting pictures and a short tape of the family from the children's grandmother.

A fourth soldier, Abigael Bollinger, will also get a package containing pictures of her children, 3-year-old Julissa Makayla and 5-year-old Gregory III.

Bollinger's husband, Gregory, is an officer with the U.S. Navy. He's in school now and expects to get his orders within the next month. He may be sent to command a ship for four to six months.

Abigael Bollinger won't be back home in Illinois until June.

Craig Cusick's Oatmeal Dark-Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe


Two sticks of unsalted butter (have them at room temperature so they are soft)

1½ cups of flour

3 cups of old-fashioned oats (uncooked)

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 pinch of salt

1 cup Splenda brown sugar

½ cup Splenda granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 bag 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (as many as you want, he uses the whole bag)


Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, salt, baking soda and vanilla.

Combine the oatmeal and the flour.

Mix it all together and add chocolate chips.

Make golf ball-size cookies and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so.

Recipe courtesy Craig Cusick.