Cookie care packages for U.S. troops |

Cookie care packages for U.S. troops

Amy Roby

Local American Gold Star mother Sally Wiley is coordinating cookie care packages to send Fourth of July cheer to U.S. troops overseas.

“I heard from the Pat Tillman Bagram Air Base USO [in Afghanistan] that ‘the troops appreciate the boxes we send, especially the homemade cookies,’” Wiley said. “If for some reason you don’t have time to bake cookies…you could always buy some Fourth of July cookies from the store for our wounded and ill soldiers at the USO hospital in Germany. They can’t have homemade cookies, just the packaged kind.”

Fourth of July-themed napkins and plates are also welcome, along with any other small patriotic items “that might catch your fancy,” said Wiley.

Items should be delivered to Wiley’s home, 1846 Crockett Lane in Gardnerville, no later than Monday. Questions can be directed to Wiley at 775-783-9292.

Wiley has arranged service member care package shipments for over a decade. She started the effort when her son, Staff Sergeant (SSG) Sean D. Diamond, was serving in the U.S. Army. SSG Diamond was killed in action in 2009 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Wiley continues to coordinate and send care packages several times per year in loving memory of him.

Summer solstice next week

Thursday marks the beginning of summer as well as the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

On this day, the top of the Earth’s axis inclines toward the sun, resulting in longer amounts of daylight over the course of 24 hours for those of us north of the equator. Conversely, people living south of the equator will experience their shortest amount of daylight on June 21.

In Gardnerville, the sun will rise just after 5:30 a.m. and won’t set until just before 8:30 p.m. As comparison, we’ll experience approximately 5 ½ fewer hours of daylight when the winter solstice occurs in December. states, “The term ‘solstice’ is derived from the Latin scientific term ‘solstitium.’ Containing the Latin ‘sol-‘ meaning ‘the sun,’ and ‘sistere’ meaning ‘to make stand.’” The term translates to “sun standing still.”

“The Old Farmer’s Almanac” says that people in Sweden celebrate the summer solstice by eating the first strawberries of the season. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Last year, my neighbors gave me some chocolate mint to plant, and it’s thriving so far. I’ll julienne some mint leaves and sprinkle them over a bowl of vanilla ice cream and sliced strawberries.

Happy solstice!

Amy Roby can be reached at