33 / 28
      34 / 29
      40 / 26

      Military families celebrate Christmas

      The holiday season is a time to be with your loved ones, but families are missing their beloved soldiers.

      "Not getting to see him is a lot harder then you might think," said Cecilia Brown.

      Families of the 1432nd Engineering Company, that left for deployment in May from the Kingsford National Guard Armory, are attending a special Christmas party coordinated by UPCAP Services Office of Community Corrections and the Dickinson County Office of Veterans Affairs.

      "I know what these families are going through, not having their loved ones at Christmas times. This is just the simplest thing that we can do for these families and let them know that our community is supporting them," said Denise Formolo, an organizer.

      The company's 1st Sergeant came back on emergency due to a death in the family. He spoke with families about the 95 soldiers.

      "They are doing great things. They have been recognized by their peers, by other units in the area that we operate in, as doing an outstanding, dependable job," said David Rye.

      A special surprise: an opportunity to Skype with their soldiers in Afghanistan.

      "It's always nice to see him. We love getting to talk to him, so when we see him, it's an awesome feeling," said Mary Plunger.

      Folks enjoyed a brunch, there were games for the kids, and Santa even stopped by to take pictures. Kids also received Christmas gifts that were donated and also specially requested by their parent serving in the Armed Forces.

      "Everything they have done is just amazing, so to give us that special Christmas; you know, we don't have our soldier, but it's good to know that our community is thinking of us," Brown said.

      After all the festivities, families had a chance to put together a care package for their soldier.