Wisconsin Veterans enjoy recognition in the We Energies 2021 Cookie Book, Celebrating military service.
My wife kicks off the holiday season every year with a trip to the ball park in Milwaukee for the We Energies Cookie Book. Every year we get multiple copies of a well produced set of dozens of Christmas Cookie recipes. Limit 2 to a customer. Every year I get dragged along, because that means a couple more cookie books. If you knew how passionate my wife is about Christmas, you’d know this is a BIG DEAL – her annual kickoff to the holiday season.
This year our youngest daughter joined us to get cookie books. Home from a year working in Spain, and staying with us, we shared stories of many prior trips to the ball park, including Santa and reindeer sightings, a cookie and hot chocolate, and other sights and treats – all curtailed because of the pandemic. What we found this trip was an even bigger treat. As we slowed to a brief stop to be handed our books, the lady who handed us six books excitedly proclaimed, “Check out the recipe at the top of page 23! My mom sent those when I was deployed to Desert Storm ~ they’re great!” We all exclaimed “Thanks!” and “Merry Christmas!” and drove off.
As my wife drove and our daughter held our new puppy, I was struck by the great slices of life in the Cookie Book. On page 23, next to the recipe for Mom’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and under a mouth-watering picture of the cookie was this caption:
Christy Schultz Veteran
Specialist, U.S. Army
While deployed to Desert Storm, my
mom would send care packages
with tins of homemade cookies.
A squad favorite was this peanut
butter chocolate chip cookie.
Thank you for your service, Christy Schultz, and thank you for an extra-fine start to our holiday season.
Wisconsin Veterans are represented throughout the 2021 Cookie Book. I was struck by the stories shared, as well as the recipes shared. Here are a couple more examples that I hope you’ll find as moving as I do.
Ribbon Cookies, page 21 top:
Submitted by Janine Sijan in memory of
Captain Lance P. Sijan
A Milwaukee native, Captain Lance P. Sijan was a U.S. Air Force officer and Vietnam fighter pilot who posthumously received the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award, in 1976. In addition, the Air Force created the Lance P. Sijan Award, one of the branch’s most prestigious awards, to recognize individuals demonstrating the highest qualities of leadership in their jobs and in their lives.
Submitted by Janine Sijan in memory of Captain Lance P. Sijan
This recipe was my brother Lance’s
favorite. My mom would bake dozens
of cookies and send them to him
when he was attending prep school,
the Air Force Academy, pilot training,
and Vietnam. — Janine Sijan
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, page 21, bottom:
Kyle Zierer Veteran
Sergeant, U.S. Army
While serving in the Army, one of
my civilian co-workers invited me
to his home for Thanksgiving. They
served many great treats like this one.
I will never forget their kindness by
including me during a time when I
would have otherwise been alone.
The Cookie Book is a fine tribute to Wisconsin Veterans from communities all over our state. Perhaps it is the holiday spirit of sharing that makes their stories all the more poignant.
Without copying the whole book, I’ll just highlight the following from page four:
Hometown heroes: 128th Air Refueling Wing
The 128th Air Refueling Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard, has a long and illustrious record of service to the State of Wisconsin and the United States of America. From natural disasters to service in the Korean War and operations Desert Storm, Restore Hope, Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle, the 128th Air Refueling Wing has responded to changing world events and tasking requirements with dignity, honor and courage. https://www.128arw.ang.af.mil/
Members of the 128th Air Refueling Wing held a contest to choose a recipe to submit for Cookie Book consideration. They couldn’t choose just one and neither could we. We’re featuring all three recipes they submitted.
Organizations Supporting Our Troops
Support for our active and retired military comes in many forms, including organizations committed to providing care for those who serve. It is our honor to share recipes from four of these groups, which you will find on Pages 8 and 9.
Blue Star Mothers of Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter 2 — Unites military mothers of all types in supporting our military forces and veterans, as well as each other. https://www.bluestarmomssew.com
Fisher House — Provides a home away from home for families of veterans and active military who need temporary housing while their loved one receives care at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. https://www.fisherhousewi.org
Operation Home Baked — Sends holiday cheer in the form of cookies to our service members stationed overseas, with more than 300,000 cookies sent to date. https://www.youarespecialwi.org
Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Inc. — Honors veterans with a life-changing trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials and experience a day of honor and thanks. https://www.starsandstripeshonorflight.org
Thank you to We Energies, and the staff who produced the Cookie Book! To download a free copy of this book or find additional recipes, go to https://www.We-Energies.com/recipes
Happy Veterans Day, Wisconsin Veterans!
Thank you all for your service.
Randy J. Hettwer
President, TDI Associates, Inc.
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