Santa Stops by 165th's Christmas Party - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Santa Stops by 165th's Christmas Party

It's a busy time with Christmas just four days away. And the busiest of all is Santa Claus. But he took time out today to visit some military families.

The 165th Airlift Wing holds a holiday party for its families each year. But some of these families have an extra special reason to enjoy this one. With Santa Claus, lots of food and Christmas carols, members of the 165th couldn't ask for much more.

"It's a great idea to get everyone together to have a good time and have Christmas with the children," said Staff Sgt. Monica Bell.

This will be a very different Christmas for some Georgia Air National Guard members, like Lt. Col. Neal Guri, who spent the last one in Uzbekistan. "There were 30 of us hanging out in the tent. We got a little bit of snow--maybe two to three inches--but it was...we made the best of it."

Now, he'll spend this Christmas with his wife, Liz, and their two children. "We're very blessed to have him back and we wish all families could be together this Christmas," said Liz.

"It's great to be back after missing last year," Lt. Col. Guri said. "It's a real treat to be back and I'm really looking forward to it."

Last year, the men and women of the 165th deployed several times. Lt. Col. Jim Grandy says everyone had a great attitude about deploying, but there's nothing like spending the holidays with your family. "Seeing the kids and seeing how excited they get when Santa comes and celebrating Christ's birth. It's fantastic."

After he missed last Christmas, his daughter Alannah has already planned this Christmas morning. "We're going to open our stockings and our presents and then, hopefully, I'll have the most presents under the tree," she said, though she had to admit having Daddy home was the best present.

Santa even had presents for all of the kids today.

Some members of the 165th are still overseas. But most are home for the holidays. More will be deploying after the first of the year.

Reported by: Liz Flynn,

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