A soldiers life isnt easy, especially during wartime. But thanks to the good will of a group of Vermont citizens, some Vermont soldiers will receive a sweet surprise from home in the coming weeks. Vermont maple syrup, donated by producers all around the state, will be on its way to Vermont troops as a reminder of the sights, smells and tastes of home. Operation Maple Sweetness committee has been soliciting donations of Vermont maple syrup from sugarmakers throughout the state. Despite a mixed season, producers and packers are responding with donations of syrup for troops throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. The project is a partnership between the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, Vermont Maple Foundation, Vermont Maple Industry Council and many other individuals and businesses. That syrup will be packaged into pint containers at Butternut Mountain Farms at 37 Industrial Park in Morrisville Saturday, May 10, beginning at 10 a.m. The containers will have a special label and a letter which states: The pure Vermont maple syrup packed inside these cases, was produced with care, and donated by, the Vermont maple syrup producers and packers as well as Vermont citizens. We want you to know how much everyone at home appreciates your courage, your sacrifice and your desire to serve your country. This is our way of sending you a taste of home. According to Sam Cutting, IV, chairman of the maple committee, This is a small token of sincere appreciation for the supreme dedication that our men and women in uniform are making on behalf of all of us. Cutting also said that sending maple syrup to troops overseas is a Vermont traditionit began during Americas bloody Civil War in the 1860s when maple sugar was sent via train to troops; it continued during World War II and the Korean War when maple sugar cakes were shipped to soldiers in faraway combat zones. For more information about sponsorships call Sam Cutting IV at 802-425-3971; for syrup donations call Rick Marsh at 802-644-5482. Cash donations are welcome and help the group with shipping and packaging expenses; mail check to: Mary Croft c/o Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, 491 East Barnard Rd., S. Royalton 05068.