Snowball Express headed for Lone Star state - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Military families board Snowball Express for free trip

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Families get ready for their Snowball Express trip to Texas. Families get ready for their Snowball Express trip to Texas.
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A special group of people are on their way to Fort Worth Texas for a few days of fun and friendship. The Snowball Express brings families of fallen military members together for a four-day, all-expense-paid vacation.

This is the seventh annual Snowball Express and the mission is simple: provide hope and new memories for the children of fallen military heroes.

"This is a great opportunity for the kids to be around other children that have lost a parent and just to forget it and have fun," said Shanette Booker, a mother of two who's going on the trip.

This is Booker's second time taking her two boys on the vacation. She said it is the highlight of their year. Many of the families going have been before but for some, this is a first time experience.

"It is really nice to have something to distract my son and there are other kids that he can meet and are going through the same thing. This really means a lot," said Melissa Burns, who is taking her son on this trip for the first time.

To say the children are excited would be an understatement. Many of the parents told me their children did not sleep at all last night, including Daniel Burns, who said he tried, but it didn't go so well.

"Well kind of I did, but I really didn't, So, no I didn't," Daniel said.

Before they left, the children got a special visit from Santa and they couldn't wait to tell him what they want for Christmas.

The families will get to do a whole range of fun activities including a tree lighting, participating in the Dallas Children's Parade, take a trip to Six Flags and get a private concert.

For children like Del' Shawn McDaniel, this trip helps them forget the pain, if only for a little while.

"For all you people that feel the same pain as me, I hope you feel better," said McDaniel.

The families will meet up with about another 1,700 families from around the U.S. for the fun-filled day.

The Snowball Express is a volunteer, non-profit organization that works with American Airlines to make this trip a reality.

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