MONTGOMERY, TX (KTRK) --As you start thinking about the flowers or chocolates you might be sending or receiving this Valentine's Day, keep in mind that one group of men and women doesn't expect anything -- but that doesn't mean they won't receive a gift this year: the troops.
A local woman decided to make their holiday a little sweeter by sending them cookies.
One day back in 2003, Marlene Summers met a young man named Michael Johnson at a golf course.
"As I left, I said, 'Michael, I'll see you next week.' He said, 'No, ma'am, I'll be deployed to Iraq next week.'"
Michael surely made an impact on Summers. He was the same age as her kids and fighting for our country. As a kind gesture, she regularly sent him cookies with cards.
"One day, I got an email from him telling me that things were rough and things weren't going so well and the troops are feeling forgotten. It really broke my heart," remembered Summers.
That's when Summers' act of kindness turned into the Grammy's Cookie Convoy charity.
"You never know how your prayers will be answered. Mine was in the form of a chocolate chip cookie," she said.
Since 2005, Summers and a team of volunteers have shipped 250,000 cookies to troops. The goal is to send a handwritten thank you card with each cookie.
"I think they make our cookies taste better," she quipped.
Soldiers who receive the cookies continuously show Summers their gratitude.
"I've received so many handwritten cards from the troops that really touch me," said Summers.
Retired U.S. Navy Medical Corps commander Dr. Edwin Taylor has been one of the most responsive since receiving his first shipment of cookies.
Dr. Taylor was stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2007, and today, Summers saw him via FaceTime for the first time.
"The fact that you took time out of your busy day and paid for all these cookies to be sent to all these troops -- that's generosity out of your heart. That meant to world to us," said Dr. Taylor.
What seemed like a small gesture to Summers made a huge impact on Taylor and the other troops.
"It's reaching out -- touching a total stranger, a soldier, a sailor, airman, marine, contractor. It just hits home very, very hard. It gives you the courage to keep on going and get the job done. It's what we're protecting. It's the kindness of America," added Dr. Taylor.
If you'd like to contribute to Grammy's Cookie Convoy, you can mail cards to the following address:
Grammy's Cookie Convoy
P. O. Box 1202
Montgomery, TX 77356
If you have friends or family serving overseas, they want to hear from you so they can send your loved one cookies. You can send troops' addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org