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U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Leon LaPorte buys the first boxes of Girl Scout cookies sold this year in South Korea. Girl Scouts throughout the peninsula will officially kick off the sales Friday afternoon.
U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Leon LaPorte buys the first boxes of Girl Scout cookies sold this year in South Korea. Girl Scouts throughout the peninsula will officially kick off the sales Friday afternoon. (Joseph Giordono / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Rank has its privileges. For the second straight year, U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Leon LaPorte was offered first crack at that springtime favorite: Girl Scout cookies.

And the eight lucky Girl Scouts who filed into LaPorte’s Yongsan Garrison office to sell him the cookies Monday got a treat too. LaPorte and his wife, Judy, bought one box from each, including some new varieties along with old favorites.

Girl Scouts at Osan Air Base, Yongsan Garrison and Taegu will officially kick off their cookie sales Friday afternoon at locations throughout bases in those areas.

“All of the cookies are being delivered this week,” said Candy Johnson, head of the Seoul Overseas Committee of the Girl Scouts. “We got the first set today and we’re giving General LaPorte the first chance to buy some.”

The Scouts will set up shop at commissaries, exchanges and other high-traffic locations until the end of February.

And if Monday was any indication, the Girl Scouts might be on the way to exceeding the lofty sales figures they reached last year. In all, Scouts across South Korea sold just over $48,600 of cookies. At $3 per box — a price that hasn’t changed in years — that comes to about 16,200 boxes of cookies.

Just as they did last year, the Girl Scouts also will take donations to send cookies to soldiers deployed overseas. Cookie lovers can either buy extra boxes to donate or keep one set of cookies for themselves and make a monetary donation for extra cookies to be shipped to troops in the Middle East.

According to the Girl Scouts’ official Web site, Thin Mints still rule: One in every four Girl Scout Girl Scout cookies sold is a Thin Mint. Caramel deLites (formerly called Samoas) come in second at 19 percent, followed by Tagalongs (or peanut butter patties) at 13 percent, Do-si-dos at 11 percent and Classic Shortbreads at 9 percent.

Proceeds from the cookies sales go back to area Girl Scout troops, helping to pay for activities and travel.

After LaPorte purchased cookies Monday, Johnson thanked him for supporting the Scout programs in South Korea.

“We’re big advocates of Scouting, both for the girls and the boys,” LaPorte said, noting that both of his sons were Eagle Scouts.

For more information on cookies sales, or to get information on Girl Scout programs at area bases, call 011-9164-3862.

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