An initiative spearheaded by Governor Brady Henry is designed to allow hundreds of troops a trip home for the holidays, Teddy Safo has more on Operation Holiday Homecoming.
Almost $600,000 has been raised to bring about 2,600 National Guardsmen and Women home for the holidays, and the efforts are more than just a moral boost for the troops.
"Families stay back on the home front.. They carry the entire load of their counterparts going away. They support their loved ones. That’s what this great nation is all about."
That’s especially the case for those who have children at home.
"It’s hard for them him being gone but they understand, they are looking forward to him coming home."
Efforts are underway even here at home.
Both the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations are donating buses to bring members of the 1245th and 345th from Fort Bliss, Texas, where they are currently training.
For Specialist Melissa Ducharme it means everything having her husband home with the family before going back to training.
"I know it’s good for him to be able to come home. He’s really excited see the kids one more time. Morale is great from them to come home."
About 230 members of the 1245th and 345 are set to arrive two days before Christmas and return to Ft. Bliss on January 2nd.