While many have been enjoying time home over the past couple of weeks, there are some Troops who spent Christmas preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan. At the Jean R. Amos USO Center at Hartsfield-Jackson, though, the mood was positive and hopeful. Deployment is never easy, but homemade Christmas cards, the support of volunteers, some delicious food, and Santa himself made the day a little bit better for those deploying out of Atlanta.
As Bill Liss of NBC 11 in Atlanta reported, “The troops were gathering at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport USO above the Airport Atrium. And there to bring a festive holiday spirit were 63 USO volunteers and 8 top Metro Atlanta chefs serving up a festive holiday banquet. Many of the troops were heading into active war zones on Christmas day for the first time.”
MyFox Atlanta interviewed Mary Lou Austin, the CEO of USO Georgia, whose sentiments reinforced the importance of the USO’s mission to families this time of year: “Today’s a very special day. We try to make it as much like home…home for the holidays.”
UPDATE! The City of Jacksonville USO made Christmas dinner possible for 1300 Marines from Camp Lejeune. Check out the video below and read the full story from Eyewitness News 9. “Gunny Claus” himself (their terms, not ours!) traveled 3,000 miles from the North Pole to provide encouragement