While stationed in the Ghazhi Province, U.S. Army Sergeant Jacob Lappin said the nights were cold and heaters were in short supply. Troops, he said, started trading anything they could get their hands on for heaters to keep them warm, including boots. And just when they didn't have much left to barter with, they received a care package from the Westhampton Beach Fire Department's junior firefighters that was filled with 500 cookies that the kids baked themselves.
"When we got the cookies, one guy was able to use some of them for barter. We got the heaters. It was great," said Sgt. Lappin. "The world does not realize the sacrifices these soldiers are making."
Sgt. Lappin, whose lives in Center Moriches, thanked the junior firefighters personally last week at a regular junior firefighters meeting at the firehouse on Sunset Avenue.
"It was heartwarming to receive such a gift. We had a couple of guys who had not received any care packages and when we brought them the cookies their faces just lit up," he said.
During the meeting, Sgt. Lappin, presented the junior firefighters an American flag that had flown over his unit's base in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Lappin, 32, has been serving in the army since March of 2001. He had done two tours of duty in Iraq prior to the his latest deployment in Afghanistan. He is a member of the New York City Fire Department and is engaged to Westhampton resident Kelly Ann Martin whose mother, Tracy Martin, is a Westhampton Beach Fire Department member.
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