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 Anysoldier.com 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!

Carlos

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. My daddy was a solider. He's retired now, but there is a lot of love and patriotism I learned from my upbringing in the military. These cake pops are awesome! Salute the troops! Hapy Independence Day!

  2. They look amazing! Good job!

  3. Thank you so much for this post. The letter was so sweet and I cried a little. I am a military wife who loves your blog and I appreciate you taking time to recognize the enormous sacrifices our wonderful military and their families make. Happy 4th of July.

  4. What a great way to say thanks to the men and women serving our Country! We are lucky to be able to spend the holiday weekend with our son who is serving in the Army. Thanks to all our service men and women for the job they do every day!

  5. WOW … God Bless America and God Bless Bakerella!

  6. how lovely and sweet… gorgeous!

  7. I'm an Air Force wife that reads your blog, too! My airman has deployed 4 times and he's actually home right now. And today's his birthday. Thanks for the tribute. Must make some cake balls, now!
    Amity

  8. My dad is in the Airforce and is being promoted and I would love to make these for his big ceremony. I've made them before but don't know how to get them as smooth as yours. Please help!!!

  9. Awwww! Im holding back the tears!! Thanks carlos! Thanks to all who serve! And thanks for baking!

  10. What a nice letter! Thanks for posting it. Thank you Carlos for writing and reminding us all of a much deeper meaning behind our Independenace Day celebrations. And thank you and all of your comrades for your dedicated service. I will be visiting the mentioned website to hopefully adopt a soldier of my own! God Bless!

  11. Ahh,thanks for the tribute Bakerella. And big thanks to all our military…on the 4th and always!

  12. This inspired me to visit the website anysoldier.com and "adopt" someone to send a package to. Its easy to live our daily lives without thinking of the sacrifice these soldiers endure. Looking at their wishlists, it all basic stuff. If I can get together a package of stuff that makes their lives a little easier, then I'm all aboard! thank you for the inspiration!

  13. As always, Bakerella, you have shown what a class act you are! I just love this blog. Great of you to post Carlos' touching letter and honor our soldiers. Beautiful pops and photos! Happy Independence Day, everyone.

  14. Holy Molee those are cute… I'm active duty AF… have been for 7 years and I really appreciate your post. (And I'm a photographer…. LOVE your photos).

  15. What a sweet story. I'd say he's a keeper!

  16. Thank you for the beautiful and touching tribute! Many thanks to our heroes in the military!

    Happy Independence Day!

    Cara

  17. Aww, that letter made me all teary eyed. I'll be thinking of our servicemen and women this weekend while I'm enjoying a cookout and fireworks. Without them I wouldn't be able to do that stuff so I'm definitely thankful.

    Those cake pops look amazing, I can't wait to try and make some of my own.

  18. Thank you so much for this post. As a wife to a former Navy man, I can say that this post was a very nice tribute to those who serve. Carlos is right… the 4th has a deeper meaning for those who are serving or have served.

    The pops look wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. Thank You for not leaving the Coast Guard out!

  20. Oh, this made me cry! God bless America! God bless our troops!

  21. Thank You!
    It's so nice to know patriotism isn't politically incorrect for everyone in America!
    God Bless America! And the Armed Forces who protect it!

  22. Chills! At the sight of cake pops! I'm getting soft.

    You are so incredibly talented and inspiring. I was feeling a bit "meh" about baking this weekend myself to celebrate the holiday, but no longer. Thanks for that!

  23. That was very sweet of Carlos, I agree, he's a keeper:). My husband is an Army officer and I remember how much I wanted to reach out to him when he was in Basic training during the 4th of July back in our dating days. The pops are darling:)!

  24. Those are grea!

  25. I cried after reading the letter and your thoughtful tribute.

  26. So wonderful. It was a good idea you didn't send him anything. When my husband was at Naval Officer Training they found someone had food in their locker and they made him eat it in front of everyone while they did push-ups. Not a good way to win friends. Thank you for remembering those that make the 4th what it is.

  27. Another military wife here…my hubby is an active duty Army soldier. I certainly appreciate the post! It's sometimes hard to explain military life to those who don't experience it. Carlos did a great job.

    We give thanks this holiday for those men and women, both near and far, that are serving to keep us safe!

    And the cake pops are cute, too! :)

  28. I must say, Carlos is a very thoughtful man, and I must say that I 100% agree with his viewpoint that the 4th of July is about more than fireworks and BBQ's. It's about the freedoms that we enjoy that probably less than 1% of humans throughout all TIME will ever, or have ever enjoyed themselves. We are so blessed to live in this country. My husband is currently in the Air Force, and is deployed, and I myself am a veteran, and it is surprising how often the true meaning of holidays such as this one, or Memorial Day, go much underappreciated by the participants. Enjoy the sales, the picnics, the celebrations, but please take a moment to thank a veteran. There are many that you will never be able to thank because they gave their lives for you to enjoy these uniquely American holidays. Anyway….THANKS for doing this post!!!!!

  29. Fabulous!!

  30. Oh, that's wo wonderful! Thinking of all the men and women serving our country… thank you.

  31. Those are amazing – your talent and thoughtfulness shining through

  32. Oorah! Awesome tribute!

  33. My fiance's in the navy in the submarine fleet, so not only do I not get to see him this 4th of July, I can't even talk to him (not a whole lot of phone calls and e-mails sent when you're miles under the ocean somewhere). Plus, I'm in Canada working for the summer, so I didn't even get to see him off like all the other wives and girlfriends were able to do. We'll just have to have our own 4th of July when he comes back in 6 months. I know who I'm celebrating this Independence Day.

  34. What a wonderful and thoughtful way to celebrate the holiday! Thank you for doing this.

    I also wanted to direct you to this candy/dessert accessory (for lack of a better word haha) shop! http://layercakeshop.com/ It's an online version of the cake supply store in Georgia : )

  35. This blog brought such a smile to my face, and my heart a bit fuller!
    : )

    Happy 4th of July!

  36. Awesome tribute to those serving our county!! I was just at a military homecoming today…6 months at sea for thousands of sailors of the US Navy…our men and women sacrifice so much for our great country!! Happy 4th!!

  37. You are awesome! These are amazing! Happy 4th to you and all our service members out there! Thank you Carlos for your service!

  38. I just cried!! Could be cause I'm an emotional pregnant lady, but that was touching!! Thank you to all those who serve our country! We love you!! Happy 4th of July!!

  39. Thank you so much for this post. My mom is currently deployed (AF Reserve) in Iraq but she is scheduled to come home THIS month! WOOO! I am actually going to make some of your oreo truffles for the occasion — with, of course, red/white/blue sprinkles. I will show them off and let you know what a big hit they were (because they always are) after the event. Thank you so much for all your support!! -Crystal

  40. Thank you for that incredible tribute to our Armed Forces. Have a Happy Independence Day!

  41. My husband is in the Air Force, we're stationed in Japan right now and your blog is a delicious link to all of the baking I would be doing if not for the adorable 7-month-old girl taking up all of my time. One day, I'm going to get a sitter just so I can make cake pops!

    Thanks for the post, and thanks to Carlos, and thanks to my husband who is giving us this chance to live in an amazing country for a few years and have all of this fun!

  42. Just wonderful! I've been checking your site to see what you would do for the 4th and I was wonderfully surprised. My husband is currently deployed, serving in the Army. Thank you for using your site to draw attention to the men and women who are serving our country this July 4th!
    ~A grateful military wife

  43. My husband and I are avid readers and fans of your blog too! We're both serving in the Army over here in Afghanistan. We can't wait to bake up a storm when we get back. I think cake pops are first on the list!

  44. What a lovely post! thanks for putting meaning back into the holiday! We’re planning on grilling up a storm this weekend. I just posted a recipe share link on my site. Hope you’ll stop by and add a favorite:

    http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2009/07/friday-feasts.html

  45. Adorable!! Way to go Bakerella! Happy 4th everyone. I am so grateful for our country and all those who serve to help make it safe!

  46. Okay, so now I'm crying. You are wonderful, Carlos is wonderful. Our troops are wonderful. I need to go do something…

  47. In hopes that Carlos might see this.
    Carlos
    Best wishes and God Bless to you and your girl. And from the bottom of my heart….THANK YOU and all the military men and women serving for our country. We love and appreciate you more than you know. Thank you on behalf of a country that rests easier knowing there are people like you willing to give your life and your freedom to make this country a better and safer place to be. We are pround of you and pray for your sefety.
    God Bless
    Susan

  48. MARINE WIFE HERE!

    that letter was very sweet…and with my husband in Iraq right now I know exactly how Carlos feels …it's really nice to see them get appreciated.

    as for this 4th of July..my husband and all the other men and women out there are on my mind.

    Thank you!

  49. This post made me cry.

    My husband is a disabled veteran; he was only in the Army for 3 years, but he went to combat in Iraq and came home a different person. I was a military wife for 2 of those 3 years, and I came to have an amazing appreciation for our men and women in uniform. My husband lost a few good friends in Iraq. And even more came home battered and broken. Still more are there again, for their 3rd or 4th tours.

    I'm thinking of all of them this 4th of July, and I thank you *so* much for this post.

  50. Awesome post!!!! I will look at the 4th a bit different tomorrow. I have no family serving and I am going to the blog Carlos mentioned anysoldier.com. I can do that, the least I can do!

  51. Carlos sounds like a fabulous boyfriend, and those cakepops look wonderful! Happy 4th and thank you to our military!

    **random tip: Pringles cans can be rinsed out and make great shipping containers for cookies being sent to troops!**

  52. I am an Army wife living in Okinawa, Japan.
    I love your site and we are hunting down supplies to make cake pops!

  53. Thank you so very much for this post! I, too, am a military wife and found out this week that my husband is leaving for Afghanistan at the end of Summer. I have been crying all week and utterly heartbroken over the fact that he will miss our children's birthdays, Halloween, Christmas, etc. You are an amazing person for responding to Carlos' letter!
    Cheers to Bakerella, the men and woman of the Armed Forces and the husband, wives and children that support them and their country!

  54. Hello there.. I love your blog.. I was really inspired by your last post. To do something great. So this is what I came up with. What do you think? My Blog
    cupcake<3er

  55. To all the men and women serving our country, THANK YOU.

    Bakerella, thank you too for these great pops. And the chance to thank the troops.

  56. This is a very sweet salute to the armed forces. I'm always looking for ideas for the 4th because my husband has spent the last 16 years in the Navy and happens to be a real live nephew of his Uncle Sam. Unfortunately his favorite cake is yellow cake with chocolate icing. It's not easy making that into a patriotic/birthday theme. And any gifts sent to our armed forces overseas is a huge blessing. My husband was so encouraged by books and notes he received during a year long deployment.

  57. What a wonderful tribute :) Excellent work!

  58. thanks for including the coast guard!!

  59. As a retired military wife, my hat is off to all our men and women who serve…and to you Bakerella for such a "sweet" tribute!

  60. I have a guy on my mind. A 20-year-old boy who is serving his first tour in brutal Afghanistan…God Bless our Troops!

  61. GOOOO NAVY! VAB military wife who loves your blog…and her Navy husband! Happy 4th everyone :)

  62. because of people like Carlos and his girlfriend ….I am proud to be an AMERICAN!!!
    Happy 4th !!!!!!!

  63. Those are so cute! Us military wives appreciate it!

  64. What a wonderful post! Happy 4th of July! :)

  65. WHOA!!
    1) Those rock!!
    2) THANK you for including the overlooked Coast Guard!! My dad served 20 years!
    3) That Carlos DOES sound like a keeper. Lucky girl :)
    4) Thank you to all the military members from a Coast Guard kid, an Army wife and an Air Force sister!!

  66. Very sweet, thank you for sending this and allowing Carlos to say I love you to his girlfriend. What a great lady you are. Thank you to all the armed forces that protect and serve and allow us to have this piece of freedom we have known and love as America!

  67. Im in tears over here. What a wonderful Marine and boyfriend. SEMPER FI!!!

    Thank you for honoring his request. I wish I was still a sailor some days.

  68. What a wonderful man and what a great couple they will make. I am so proud of our servicemen and women. They deserve so much respect for what they do and the sacrifices they make. God bless them!

  69. oh goodness! what a sweet man! i'm glad he posted about anysoldier.com…I am going to go there now:)

  70. Yes, that Carlos is a keeper for sure!

    As a Marine Mom I want to thank you for supporting our military!

  71. To Carlos and all the other men and women protecting our country:
    THANK YOU!!

  72. Thanks Bakerella…My husband is in the Air Force and set to leave any day now for overseas…We have a 7 week old baby and 2 boys…It's great to hear people think about our families :) Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

  73. My son is currently serving in the US Army and stationed in Germany ~ thanks for supporting our troops!

  74. Thanks so much! This is fabulous. Thanks for sharing what the 4th is really about.

  75. You did good!!!

  76. I'm an Infantry wife and I follow your blog constantly. Thank you for those cakepops, those are definantly different! I will have to make those some day for an FRG Meeting or something. Happy 4th of July!

  77. Bakerella, I think it would be really awesome (not that this wasn't awesome enough in itself) if you made a post listing the different options of sending stuff to our troops that were mentioned in the comments, as there are so many mentioned, and many people may not go through all the many, many comments to get to them all. I think you should put out a challenge of some sort to have your followers send some of our baked good to the soldiers deployed.

    Thanks Bakerella, and
    Thank you to all that are serving and have served to Let Freedom Ring here in the USA! May God Bless America and all our service men and women!

  78. AWESOME!!!!

  79. Just picked up my soldier today from being at JRTC for 5 weeks to train for their deployment in Sept to Iraq. He's taking a nap right now after a long day traveling home… and I opened up your blog to find these wonderful cupcake pops. These are amazing.

    Thank you… for taking the time to recognize our military service members… and for sharing with your readers the importance of supporting our troops.

    God Bless My Husband, My Solder and God Bless the USA.

  80. Thank you so much! My husband is deployed in Afghanistan right now, and if I could be guaranteed the chocolate wouldn't melt, I would send some of these myself.

    You are a sweetheart!

  81. Just beautiful…so moving, I had tears in my eyes. Happy 4th of July to my American friends xxxxx (You are one special lady Ms. Bakerella xxx)

  82. Great letter Carlos! So very true for us that are serving. I am U.S. Navy of 12 years!

    Love the pops! :)

  83. Awesome…gave me goose bumps. Thanks for reminding us to take the time to appreciate all our troops do for us and sacrifice for us.

  84. Wow! Carlos is QUITE the catch! I have tears in my eyes reading the letter. Your cake pops for the military are divine. I love the sparkles. My husband is active duty Air Force so I appreciate your effort. :)

  85. Oh my, cry, cry, cry and THANK YOU!! :0)

  86. I teared up when I read this! I know how Carlos feels because I am a military wife and my husband is serving a tour in Iraq! So THANK YOU for reaching out and showing your appreciation to our soldiers who are keeping our country FREE!

  87. I loved this post! I come from a long line of military veterans and the 4th of July has always been my favorite holiday. Carlos' letter was great and I am so glad he called attention to all of your readers that have connections to our service members. I have made several long-distance friends through anysoldier.com and think your blog was a perfect place for its mention! Thanks for such a sweet post.

  88. Yep, this one got me! My husband is currently deployed with the Navy to "somewhere in the Indian Ocean"….thank you for keeping our military in mind with your post!! Happy 4th!

  89. What a fantastic letter from Carlos. Spot on, Carlos!

    And Bakerella, you are amazing, very amazing. The yellow ribbons were a fantastic touch.

  90. AMAZING as always!

  91. What kind of camera do you use?

  92. AWESOME!

  93. This post made me smile not only because he seems like such an awesome guy (seriously… if I said anything about Bakerella to my boyfriend he would give me the funniest look) but because of all the people who are serving our country.

    I'm a military brat myself; both my parents served in the army and were stationed in Germany (before the wall came down – eek!) when I was born. Rock on Bakerella!

  94. As simple as these are, they are among my favorites!

    Thank you, soldiers of all kinds everywhere! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Thank you, ancestors! Thank you for the sacrifice, determination, and eye single to a vision of the future. Thank you, too.

  95. I am thinking of my husband who's currently deployed right now as I read this entry. He is in the Air Force and Carlos is right about how we should not forget the men & women in the Armed Forces fighting for our freedom! That was a great letter from Carlos and so sweet to think of his girlfriend.

  96. My husband serves in the US NAVY and has for 15 years. It's great to see that others appreciate their sacrifice and service in the military, in all branches. Thank You!!! I sympathize with Carlos and wish him a safe deployment. Thank you to all those who serve!!! Happy 4th of July!!!

  97. Only in a America! Happy 4th of July everyone! My heart is so touched by this.

  98. Oh, that is so sweet *sob*.. I couldn't imgine not seeing my husband for such a long time. Carlos definitely sounds like a keeper. Love the pops!!

    I live across the pond and don't celebrate but HAPPY JULY 4th to you all :)

  99. What a wonderful sentiment and well thought out gesture from Carlos! As I was decorating my flag cake this morning I thought "I wonder what delectable beauty Bakerella is coming up with? I hope she shares with us!" This was wonderful! My husband is Navy and I am proud of all that he does! He is our hero! So thanks for putting it out there that the 4th is not just about food and fireworks. A lot is sacrificed every day my military men and women and their families. Thanks Bakerella! And thanks Carlos! Good luck to you and your girlfriend

  100. As the daughter of a Navy Chaplain (serving in WW2, Korean & Vietnam wars) & married to a man who still has the Marine way of life in his civilian company, here's a shout out to Carlos' and his hard chargin' girlfriend (I wish he had given us her name!) "Ooo-Rah and THANK You for your service to our country"…You and ALL the service Men & Women past, present & future-And Thank You, Bakerella, for your choice in honoring his request for a wonderful Military tribute! I LOVE your blogs and have had so much fun making some of your ideas! Thank you and stay safe this 4th of July weekend!
    :)

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