Operation Santa's Sleigh.

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Daniel Ter Haar
  • 185th ARW
Snow started failing on the afternoon of Dec. 3, 2016 a good time to begin celebrating the holiday season for the friends and family of the members of the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, Iowa. Members were also glad the festivities were located inside a heated hangar.

Among the various arts and crafts activities, children also got the chance to win prizes while playing games. There were snacks, toys, cookies and also Santa.

Approximately 250 adults and kids were anxious to see Santa as he showed up in his "sleigh," a red fire truck from the 185th Fire Department. Children then got to sit on Santa's lap, take a photo and receive gifts from his elves, Victoria Fillipi, a member of the Iowa Guard Youth Council and Staff Sgt. Damian Huizar, a services Airmen assigned to the 185th.

Airman and Family Programs Manager, Lori Risdal said that the bigger mission of Operation Santa's Sleigh was about strengthening military families and also making it easier to contact her if a need should arise.

"I've seen the children interact with each other at each event, and every time we have another event, it strengthens friendships and connections as military children they may not have with other children who don't understand the unique stressors our military children face."

"Our goal is to prepare our families to face the challenges and be strong and resilient, but also be familiar with those who can assist them if necessary, and events like this are integral to that goal," said Risdal.

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