The Fourth

Freedom, independence & a marine named Carlos. Last week I was trying to decide what kind of Fourth of July sweets to make or if I was even going to make anything at all. Then I received an email from a reader’s boyfriend and I knew I wanted to… had to… do something for the holiday.

Here’s his letter. And by the way, I couldn’t make anything sweeter than this.

Hi there Bakerella!

My name is Carlos and I’m a United States Marine, and have been one since 1998. If you wouldn’t mind just giving my e-mail some thought, I’d be grateful. Here’s the story:

My girlfriend just went away to Marine Corps bootcamp not yet a month ago. She LOVES to bake, but unfortunately didn’t get much time to do so because her job took up most of her free time, so she lived vicariously through you. She’s a fan of photography also, so your blog was a welcome reprieve from a long, hard day at the office. As you may or may not know, bootcamp for Marines is 13 weeks long; the only contact with the outside world is through snail mail. I miss my girlfriend immensely and while I know she’s doing something for her country that she’s always wanted to do, it’s hard on me. I digress, she loves your blog. I know the 4th of July is coming up and I ask you this not only for her, but also for the men and women in the Armed Forces who really know and FEEL the meaning behind this holiday. I think it would be very patriotic and meaningful to bake and decorate something in the spirit of the military, not just flags and sparklers like everyone else is doing – but something to show people that our military needs support and we need to remember them while we’re lighting off fireworks at the family BBQ. You know?

Now, I’m asking this because I think it would touch a special place in some of your reader’s hearts. I’m willing to bet you have quite a following amongst military wives and/or girlfriends. How nice would it be to show your support? I’ve served 3 tours in Iraq and am due to go to Afghanistan for a year in the next few months. I won’t get to see my girlfriend graduate from bootcamp in September, I won’t get to see her looking sharp in her uniform, I won’t get to see the pride on her face as finally, at 28 years old, she joins the ranks of The Few, The Proud… so this would be my chance to show her I thought of her. This is your chance to show you think of our military, as many others should be doing. Maybe it’ll get people to look for ways to support us with baked goods? During the colder months overseas, my girlfriend would bake cookies and anything else she could that would hold up to the travel and heat, and send on enough for my whole platoon. A taste of home, a taste of love… opening up a box with the smells of back home was something you just can’t explain. It was magical. My girlfriend didn’t stop there though, she adopted Marines, Soldiers and Airman through and sent them care packages and notes of encouragement.

I realize I’m all over the place here, but trying to get my point across is difficult without writing you a novel. I think you get the gist. 4th of July is about more and I’d love to write my girlfriend a letter and say, ‘Bakerella appreciates the Armed Forces, when you get back to the real world and have access to a computer… go see her 4th of July post.’ Now, I don’t know if you’ll do this or not and it’s fine either way. I just wanted to tell you a little story and hope that maybe a tiny blurb in your blog would entice your readers into caring just a tiny bit more and thinking just a bit deeper on our Independence Day.

I appreciate your time in reading this!


What a sweetheart. When I read his letter, I immediately wanted to make and send something to surprise his girlfriend. I thought, how cute would it be for her to open a box of colorful cake pops! Then, Carlos informed me that they can’t receive food during boot camp. I pictured her being forced to eat all the pops at one time and then made to run 10 miles or something. I don’t think she’d like that too much. Picture it. Cute little cake pops. Marines. Lollipop sticks. Marines. Sprinkles. Marines. Not the best idea for her sake.

Now, I can’t send her anything sweet, but I can send her these sweet simple words of appreciation.

Military Pops

It’s not much, but I hope that if you do see this when your 13 weeks of boot camp are over, that it puts a smile on your face. And know that you and all members of the armed forces were thought of this July 4th.

Plus… that Carlos… he sounds like a keeper.

Cake Pops

Marine Pops

Cake Pops

What about you? Is there someone on your mind… or in your heart… this holiday?

Hope you all have a happy, safe and sweet Fourth of July!

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425 comments on “The Fourth”

  1. SO Sweet! Happy Independence Day!

  2. This was so sweet. Happy 4th.

  3. That's precious.
    He seems like such a sweet guy, and I love you cake pops as always.

  4. That is amazing! Have a Happy 4th!

  5. Nice touch with the yellow ribbons. They look beautiful.

  6. So cute, happy fourth of July

  7. You're as sweet as your treats and I agree he is a keeper..
    Those pops are super!You're an artist.

  8. AWWWWW! Happy 3rd and 4th and 5th..and so on and so on!

  9. Love it! My husband is active duty Air Force and I'm a veteran myself. We're actually headed to DC tomorrow and I"m SOOO excited!

    Wish I could take a handful of cake pops with me! Those are adorable…er…I mean, very motivational.

  10. Aww Carlos is soo sweet! And your pops look great! Simple, still one of my favorites!!

  11. Those lollipops are adorable. What a great idea. That would work for canada day too.

  12. Love it! I was reading your blog at the kitchen table with my Navy Chief hubby this morning and just had to read him this post! And of course the pops look beautiful!

  13. That brought tears to my eyes. Happy 4th.

  14. As a wife of a soldier, this post made me cry a little. It's so hard being away from the one you love but I think Carlos hit it spot on with that email. He's a keeper and then some ;) Then there are those cake pops! I hope you don't mind, I might have to steal that idea for the FRG bakesale this week. They are perfect. You are amazing!

  15. It's people like Carlos who make this country great! Thank you for sharing him with us!
    (Oh, and nice pops!)

  16. Love the cake pops! And what a great letter :) Carlos is right – I know many military wives that read your blogs. I am one of them. My husband is serving in the Air Force – he has been to Iraq & Afghanistan but I am lucky to have him home for now. We are currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan – quite far from home! Baking is something I love to do to pass the time here and your blogs give me plenty of ideas to keep me busy!

    Happy Independence Day to all! Please remember those serving, those who have served and those who have lost their lives while protecting our freedom!

  17. This Battalion Family Readiness Group Advisor and wife of an Army Battalion Commander, who is about to mobilize, thanks you for posting this. They are, of course, beautiful. The letter made my day. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  18. Thank you Carlos, Carlos' girlfriend and all those in the armed forces here and over seas who have devoted their lives to keeping us safe and free!


    Peace, love and cake pops!! <3

  19. Absolutely awesome! Those are just gorgeous. Thanks for your support of our troops. Good luck to his girlfriend in the rest of her bootcamp. And a huge thank you to Carlos for his service, and best wishes to him as he prepares to deploy to Afghanistan. Semper Fi!

  20. What a wonderful post (and the cake pops are beautiful). Thanks to you and Carlos for the reminder of what Independence Day truly represents.

  21. How sweet. Would it be possible to use your Thank You photo on my blog for my 4th posting?

  22. A wonderful post! Thank you Carlos and yours for all you do for us here in the US. Thank you to all of my students who have served and returned to sit in my classroom and write about what they know of their experiences protecting me and my family – all of us. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  23. Thank you, Miss Bakerella, for remembering the US Coast Guard in your lovely tribute. Not only am I married to a Chief, but much more of my family is made up of hard working Coasties and it's always disheartening when the 5th armed service is not remembered with their brothers-in-arms. There has, after all, been Coast Guardsmen fighting and dying in every war since the Coast Guard's inception. So thank you again, for remembering all of our brothers, uncles, fathers, husbands, and sons this Independence Day!

  24. That is wonderful!!
    I'm making your last year pops for tomorrow. I'm excited because these are my first to make!

  25. Hoorah! Thank you!

  26. I was going to mention the yellow ribbon too, but someone already did. Great touch!

  27. You are awesome!

  28. What a great email, a great guy and a great post.

    I love that the pops look like they're standing tall and proud like our soldiers.

    To every man and woman serving our country and those that have in the past: Thank you.

  29. This is so awesome – the letter as well as your response. If those in the military are reading the comments, I just want to say THANK YOU too!

  30. you rock! my airman just got back less than a week ago from his second Iraq tour. God bless america and you!

    also Carlos is a keeper!

  31. As a military wife, I appreciate your heart felt tribute to the men and women who protect this great nation of ours. We truly are the "Land of the Free, Beacause of the Brave!" My husband is in the Air Force and has served 4 deployments to Iraq, Afganistan and Columbia. It is very special to have him home this 4th of July. My boys and I missed him so much last year at this time!
    Thanks again!

  32. Totally moving…cakepops..yeehaa!!
    Have an amazing 4th!!
    Hugs, Nerina :)

  33. These are adorable. What a great tribute! God Bless all the men and women who are serving our country in the armed forces. They are very much appreciated. Happy 4th to them, and thank you!

  34. Thank you so much Bakerella! I myself am not a military wife, but my father-in-law was a career marine, one brother-in-law was in the navy, and another brother-in-law is currently serving in the army. He has been home on leave for a few weeks and has to go back to Afghanistan today (ironically). Since he'll have to fly through Germany and it's a long trip, he'll actually probably get there tomorrow. Again, ironically.

  35. Thank you for sharing this, Bakerella! And thank you for honoring our armed forced. I am actually doing Operation Baking Gals this week and sending some cookies to soldiers overseas. I wish I could send some cute red, white, and blue cakepops or cupcake pops or just cupcakes, but I don't think they'd make it still in their original, solid form.

  36. Awesome! If I wasn't married I'd be in love with Carlos, too! ;)

  37. Those pops are amazingly beautiful… Happy 4th of July. And it will be a glorious day when our men and women overseas can come home to their families!

  38. maybe its the hormones, but this post made me tear up! these are awesome! carlos and his girlfriend are awesome!

  39. very nice pictures!! Greetings from Holland!!

  40. Thank you for this post and thank you to all the armed forces out there. We really do all thank you.

  41. what a beautiful post!! i don't know if you've heard of operation baking gals ( but it's also a great way to support the troops! i've sent several batches of goodies already!

  42. Once again Bakerella – you have done it! You are amazing! And thanks to Carlos and his girlfriend! That is the TRUE spirit of America! Independence Day is one of may favorite holidays because of that! Thanks to all who have served!

  43. This letter brought a tear to my eye. As the wife of a Marine, this holiday holds a special place in my heart. It is so much more than fireworks and hotdogs…it is about surviving deployments, raising kids alone, missing family and friends…and doing it all in support of the USA. Thank you for your support for those who serve this nation, both directly and indirectly. Happy 4th!

  44. Just perfect! :)

    Happy Independence Day!

  45. This made me cry. It is so sweet. Thanks to you and Carlos. I'm missing my husband something fierce today, he's deployed and this is our favorite holiday. I may just have to go make some cake pops to cheer myself up :) Happy Fourth to everyone!

  46. Thanks for posting that. It brought tears to my eyes and made me want to do something beyond the ordinary for this holiday! We are so blessed to live in this country and we owe it all to our troops and those men and women who have sacrificed for us. Happy Independence Day!

  47. You have to find out when her graduation is taking place and send her some then (from Carlos). Besides it's Independence Day every day when you're in the military. And how sweet would it be to know he had been thinking about her all along…especially when he's away on her special day!

  48. Truly the American spirit!
    Happy 4th!

  49. Thanks Bakerella, I knew you wouldn't let us down! I have a son and daughter-in-law in the military and I'm so proud of them! My son spent a year in Afghanistan and thinks he may be going back. If he does, I'm making some of these to send over!

    I won your edible ink pens, still trying to decide what to try with them!

  50. My baby turns ONE tomorrow… Happy Birthday and Happy 4th of July!

  51. Just the fact that you were willing to read the email, let alone post it, let alone create something special, and lastly give the g/f a shout out. Seriously, you ROCK!

    I hope this touches them and everyone else immensely.

    Just another reason I <3 your blog.


  52. I agree…Carlos is a keeper! What a thoughtful guy!! My husband is a nurse/medic in the Army & just arrived home from Active Duty on Wednesday. I have always loved these holidays, but they mean so much more to me & my family now that we have a soldier in the family. My favorite quote right now is "Freedom is not Free". I think that that says it all.

    Thanks for the patriotic cake pops! I love the sprinkles & the ribbon.

  53. Oh Bakerella,
    I just cried my eyes out over tht post. I found your blog a few months bck and have been a avid reader every since. I cannot wait to see what you post next. It just brings a smile to my face after a long day. I military also. I have served in the Air Force for the last 12 years. I am also a military wife. I know what it is like to send your husband off to war. The men and women look forward to those care packages, especially those with homemade goodies. Thank you so much for posting Carlos' letter. I know that it means alot to him and his girlfriend. It sure meat alot to me. Thank you for your support of the military. The cake pops are great. The best part is the yellow ribbon, it has become a symbol for what we are celebrating. The men and women who are not with us today to celebrate. I may try to make some for our July 4th celebration. If you can please let Carlos know that I will pray for himn and his girlfriend and that we are very proud of them.

    Thank you,
    The Cake Lady

  54. Those cake pops fit the bill to a T!

    BTW, I am a military wife, and I also love your blog.

    Jen VG

  55. Coming from a Navy girlfriend, that is so sweet and so appropriate. Please remember who is fighting to keep this nation wonderful! Happy Indepence Day everyone!

  56. That is probably the sweetest post ever. Not even kidding.

  57. I don't know if Carlos or his girlfrind will read all your comments, but just in case….Years ago after the Gulf War, I was at a 4th of July parade in a large city…there were MANY, groups of amrned forces marching in rank throught the entire parade. Everytime some came by the entire crowd stood and cheered. I was crying my eyes out, seeing all those brave people who love their country and serve their country; all together walking proudly in rank….It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it…it was a very powerful, moving moment in my life….Thank you Carlos and all of our armed forces for your time, bravery, and sacrifice.

  58. Love the Cake Pops. Sometimes less really is more. Love how clean and simple they are.

    I grew up as a Military Brat…my father was in the Air Force. He passed away last spring, so the holidays (especially the patriotic ones) are difficult. I don't live near my Mom to help as I should, but my thoughts are with her, and the rest of the Military Service Men and Women (present and past) as we celebrate this Independence Day. Happy 4th.

  59. This made me tear up this morning. It definitely puts things into perspective this 4th of July. Thank you to Carlos, his girlfriend and all the other individuals involved in our military.

    And how awesome of you Bakerella! The cake pops are perfect.

  60. As the wife of an active duty Air Force man, Thank you! Thank you Carlos for the wonderful email in support of your dear girlfriend. Thank you Bakerella for showing your support of the military.

    God bless America!

  61. How beautiful. So many of us are sarcastic about this holiday, but it really does stand for so much for so many people. Thanks for that reminder.

  62. I do not have anyone in the military. But I have friends who have husbands or had and I tell you. I really feel for them. I have to say this post had me in tears. The pops are great. Plus what a great guy Carlos is!

  63. These are great Bakerealla. What an amazing job. I think you did all the military proud. I am so grateful to our service men and women. And while Carlos' girlfriend may not be able to receive treats at the moment, there are lots of other soldiers who can. I am a member of Soldiers Angels. We send letters and care packages to soldiers serving so far from home. There are many ways to get involved with this great organization. Including a team called Angel Bakers, who specifically sends homemade treats. If you or anyone else would like more information, check out or contact me directly, I'd be happy to answer any questions.

    Happy Independence Day!

  64. What a wonderful letter and post! May God bless our wonderful country and to our service men and women – THANK YOU for the sacrifices you make to keep us free!

  65. Aww that was so sweet! And the cake pops are beautiful!


  66. That was sweet! I hope you don't mind, but I posted a link and your picture on my blog. Then, I sent a link to my adopted soldier!

  67. that brought tears to my eyes. we are an air force family currently stationed in germany, so i can certainly relate to the whole military aspect! thank you, bakerella, for your beautiful cake-pop-response, and God Bless the USA!

  68. You got the spirit of the Fourth of July with that post….Carlos will be thrilled. Perfect, perfect picture of red, white and blue American pride.

  69. I agree with you it sounds like Carlos is a Keeper! Those cake pops look great. Happy fourth of July!

  70. the tears are streaming down my face…….I wish we could thank our armed forces EVERYDAY, not just on July 4th. Those little round tags are simply awesome!!

    Thank you, Bakerella, for taking the time to honor those defending our freedoms.

  71. LOVE it!!! God Bless America!

  72. I've wanted to do something like that for a long time! I like the cakepops pics!

  73. Thanks for sharing this email from Carlos. God bless these men and women who are serving their country, who are willing to go through so much and then some… seriously, thank you for sharing, Bakerella!

  74. Sweet! My youngest brother has been a Marine for 5 years, and during that time we have grown to appreciate the 4th of July more and more. Thanks!

  75. Awwwww!!! That is about the sweetest thing I have ever read. I will most definately think of all of the people out there who are doing everything that they can for all of our country this 4th of July. Thank you Carlos, and thank you Bakerella!

  76. Happy Fourth of July ! This is such a sweet post. My nephew is currently in training for Afghanistan and will be heading there with the Canadian forces in january ;eaving behind his new baby girl. It is so hard to think about…but I am going to start thinking about goodie boxes to send too…

  77. Thank you for sharing that sweet letter, it brought tears to my eyes! Our son is in the Army and stationed overseas so he won't be with us as we celebrate 4th of July this year. I loved the beautiful cake pop tribute you made!

  78. These are awesome! What a great way to say thanks and show our appreciation to all those brave men and women who sacrifice so much for us.

  79. adorable and sweet as ever!

  80. Jana said…
    shoot shoot shoot, I just woke up and I am already crying. I am an army wife. My husband is my bestfriend. Carlos thanks for your service! And congrats to your lovely strong girlfriend…Bakerella this is why I love you, your just the sweetest thing…no wonder you churn out such…uh…sweet things!!

  81. My brother went to Marine boot camp the same time as Carlos' girlfriend it sounds like, and it's been hard on the family (and very hard on him from what we can tell in his letters). This means a lot that you put so much effort into something for them. I can't wait to show him this when he comes home. Thanks Bakerella!

  82. I hate to admit it but I actually got a lump in my throat reading Carlos' letter…then, when I saw what you did? Well, how can we not have a Happy 4th as well as celebrate our Armed Forces after that?

    Happy Independence Day, USA!

  83. wow these are so nice! you re so creative. Happy 4th of July :)

  84. Thank you Bakerella. I am also married to a Navy Sailor, and to us this is what Independence Day is all about. Our men and women overseas work so hard, and miss out on so much. My husband missed the birth of our daughter because he was overseas. Again, thank you so much!!

  85. That was a great letter (and how lucky they are to have found each other).

    I live vicariously through your blog – love to bake but not nearly as creative as you are. I do play with paper and scissors quite a bit though. Another option to help our men and women in uniform is to make some cards for them to send home. It can be done through

    Happy 4th!

  86. Very sweet!!!! Thankful for our military men, women and families


  87. *sniffle*
    That Carlos, he really got to me.

    Thank you for the reminder of what we are really celebrating!

  88. I LOVE this!! I, too, was brought to tears by the Marine's letter and your fabulous response. You are so good to remember the reason we celebrate this holiday. Not only for the amazing men and women who came before us…but for those currently serving our country and preserving our way of life and the lives of others. 'The land of the free because of the brave' indeed!!

    My husband is in the Army and is currently deployed for 18 months in the Middle East. To say it is sometimes a challenge would be an understatement. :) However, we couldn't be more proud of him and are more than willing to serve our country via separation in honor and support of his dedication to this great nation.

    I would also encourage everyone to visit In just a few minutes, you can write letters of encouragement, pick a card design, press send…and Xerox sends the cards to those brave men and women deployed around the world at no cost to you.

    Happy 4th of July America!!

  89. *Sniff* Thanks, Bakerella.
    My B.I.L. is in Afghanistan.

    Lovely shout out to the troops.

    Happy 4th to you.

  90. I am so thankful for our freedom and for the men and women who have, throughout our country's history, served to protect it. It is so precious!

  91. Awwww! The email Carlos sent you brought tears to my eyes. As an Army wife and Navy brat, it hits close to home. The pops you made are awesome, as usual, just like everything you do! Thank you so much sharing this with us and giving a shout out to the men and women in uniform. Have a happy and safe Independance Day!

  92. God Bless the U.S.A. and those fighting for our freedom!

  93. Very touching – thank you for sharing that with us!! I hope she gets the message as well.

  94. What an awesome guy. Carlos, thanks for the reminder to remember the armed forces who do so much to keep our country safe. Thanks Armed Forces!

    Bakerella, those cake pops look like rows of soldiers standing at attention. So cool!

  95. Wow, what a beautiful letter, and a beautiful post. And- what beautiful cake pops! Tell me, where did you get those Armed Forces discs that you put on the cake pop sticks? :)

    My daddy :) is in the Marines, too. He just returned from a deployment in February, that had lasted over a year.

    I can't even think of anything to say now…. Well, actually, i can think of a million good things to say, but next to Carlos's letter, it won't even matter.

    Happy Independence Day, and I am truly touched.

  96. How sweet! Thank you for sharing that!

  97. First of all, thank you so much for sharing that letter! Carlos sounds like such a nice guy. I love hearing from the dedicated men and women that serve our country. I am grateful for them and their supportive families. Secondly- I'm a huge fan! I love your site and ideas. Thanks for doing what you do :)

  98. Wow! So amazing! Thanks so much to Carlos and his Girlfriend for giving to all of us. I appreciate you. Cake Pops are amazing as always! I will say, my kiddos always bake something on Labor & Memorial Day all by themselves and we deliver them to the local Veterans as a thanks. The kids love it & they love them! Awesome Story! Tabtiha

  99. These are amazing!! I am the wife of a Newly retired Marine, a Sergeant Major who has proudly served this country for 26 years! What a sweet and thoughtful tribute to all those in uniform!!

  100. Lovely… absolutely lovely. :)

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