Patriotic Women Bake Cookies

Patriotic Women Bake Cookies

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

Patriotic Women Bake Cookies

I think somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.

Eleanor Roosevelt

“What do you want me to do? Stay home and bake cookies?” That could have been me twenty years ago. I was a thoroughly modern woman. Newly married to an air force pilot, I was not going to be shackled by outdated images of the proper officer’s wife. I was not going to be one of those squadron wives who scurried around making wonderful home-baked goodies for the “cookie bus” during combat exercises. I scoffed at the squadron commander’s wife who exhorted us to keep cookie dough in the freezer so we would be ready to go whenever the exercises kicked off. How silly! Our husbands are training to go to war. They don’t care about chocolate chips and snickerdoodles!

Now look at me: Twenty years later, I am the commander’s wife and I have my apron on. I am rolling out sugar cookies for the airmen who will be in the dorms for the holidays. Other wives are churning out chocolate-chip cookies to send with deploying troops. I’ve got cookie dough in my freezer! Why do military wives bake cookies? After twenty years, I understand.

When I married my husband, I accepted his choice to be an air force pilot, but that was his job, not mine. Over the years, I have learned that his choice is more than a job. It is a mission. I have watched as military careers ended when a spouse could not accept the demands of the mission. I have watched as marriages ended when a soldier could not give up the mission. Therefore, I have embraced the mission in my own way.

I cannot fly or fix the planes. I don’t carry a weapon. But I can volunteer my hands and heart to those who do. And I can bake cookies. They are baked with flour, sugar, butter and a lot of prayers. I can only hope that each soldier finds some small comfort in my culinary creation. I pray he feels the respect and support my heart added to the recipe. His sacrifice for America has inspired in me a reverence for America. His willingness to defend this nation has taught me that this is a nation worth defending.

Yes, I am still a modern woman. But, now, I am a patriotic woman. And I bake cookies.

Denise J. Hunnell

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