Linda McCusker still cries when she talks about her grandson, Sean McCusker. Sean was a lance corporal with the US Marine Corps, deployed 12 times. March 28 will mark five years since he completed suicide. In Sean’s honor, Linda spends most of the year working on projects in her only grandson’s honor. Now, a local Girl Scout Troop has helped her send 100 boxes of cookies to troops overseas.
Linda collects at least 400 toys every year for Toys for Tots, an organization close to her late grandson’s heart, in his honor. She volunteers regularly for Wreaths Across America, sends care packages, and is always looking for another service project in memory of Sean.
This time, she chose Girl Scout cookies.
“Everybody loves a sweet,” said McCusker.
The boxes were ordered through Belmont’s Junior Girl Scout Troop 20005. She ordered a mix of flavors, not all of which she can remember, and figured that would be the end of things.
Troop Leader Ange Lefler got as many girls from the troop as she could, which ended up being five, and drove to her house to collect the check. They met with Linda and listened to her explain the tributes to her grandson.
“It was eye opening to hear she does so much for the military and community around Gastonia,” said Lefler.
The girls took everything a step further and wrote thank you notes for the soldiers to go along with each box.
“It’s a nice individual touch. They’re a nice group of girls,” McCusker said.
They also wrote to McCusker, explaining how thankful they were for her donation — and letting them play with her dog.
“It was so cute, in the thank you card they remembered Toby and thanked me for sharing Toby with them. It was a nice treasured package. A lot of times you don’t hear back from the things you do,” she said.
Now with the knowledge that Girl Scout cookies can be sent overseas, the literally sweet gesture is one that McCusker is planning on doing yearly.
“It was exceptional she would do something like that. She does a lot of service projects for the military and was pleased to find out she could send cookies over there,” said Lefler.
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