Hunter Army Airfield holds Christmas party for military families - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hunter Army Airfield families celebrate the holidays

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Mac and cheese, potato salad, and lots of other delicious foods donated by Memorial University Medical Center and Sodexo Health Care filled the plates of about 200 Hunter Army Airfield soldiers and their relatives as they enjoy spending time together during the holiday season.

Sfc. Kyle Hebert said: "Every three to four years we deploy, so it's nice to be home for the holidays and get together."

Besides being with family, the soldiers are also thankful for some new work equipment.

First Lt. Robert Hutson said: "Our nice, new unit that we have and our nice helicopters. We've been blessed and we were so glad to go and help other people."

Hutson and Hebert are two of the dozens of Georgia Army National Guardsmen who headed to the northeast to help folks there recover from Superstorm Sandy.

"Regular hurricane damage, like flooding and winds. We did a little support by moving food and water around, along with some equipment," Hebert said.

Hutson said: "I actually got to fly over the damage, especially the area there on the island that was burned down, and so I saw all of that first hand."

Now, Hutson is lending a helping hand of another kind. He explains, "Well, I was in the serving line and I was serving green beans."

As Hutson and about a half dozen more served food to the families, pianist Erika Monteith used her hands to provide some great music.

She said: "I was a war child in Germany. The war was over when I was ten years old and the troops had just occupied a building that was still standing from the bombs and they made their first Christmas party there. There was a piano, which survived the bombs, and I played two Christmas songs for them."

Since then, Monteith has always volunteered her talent and time to our troops.

And even Old Saint Nicholas stopped by to say hi. He's a visitor none of the children expected, but they were extremely excited to see him. They would not let him out of their sight, as the followed him everywhere he went for the chance to tell him their Christmas wish.

But the parents didn't want much, they're thankful for one thing this holiday season. SFC said, "I'm home."

Also, at Hunter Army Airfield's Christmas party, Staff Sgt. Fernando Careaga Jr. was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his 20 years of service. Careaga is also a longtime Gulfstream employee, working as a senior structure mechanic.

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