HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - It was a big Christmas celebration Saturday in Hattiesburg for children of deployed soldiers.
“Help celebrate Christmas and Santa Clause, we have him coming in on a fire truck,” Barbara Tibbett said.
Jolly ole Saint Nick and Mrs. Clause made their way into Allan B. Carter American Legion Post 24 in Hattiesburg, spreading the holiday spirit to all.
“Just giving back," Faith Herrington said. "That’s what we are doing is giving back to the community for the children.”
The party held for children of deployed soldiers from the 184th and 155th Army units that are based at Camp Shelby.
Currently, some of those soldiers are deployed in Kuwait while others will be joining them in a few months.
“I am here to support this community to help the children have some fun and let them have a Merry Christmas,” Andrew Wood said.
The day was about fun, food, games and a lot of fellowship with families who will be spending Christmas without their loved ones as those deployed soldiers are serving our country.
Members from the Mississippi Youth Challenge Academy and American Legion organizers said they know first hand the importance of events like the one held Saturday.
“By being deployed a few times and actually being able to see someone back home taking care of our families, supporting our families and our kids, it helps us a little more with not being there,” Sgt. First Class Carlos McKinney said. "To know there’s a family at home trying to help support our kids and our families.
“I was deployed in ’06 and ’07 and our unit, the same unit 184th was deployed, a lot of their children our here in Hattiesburg," Mark Herrington said. "Being in the American Legion and supporting them this time at Christmas and having games and stuff like that to do, it’s just about sharing time with them.”
The event was hosted by the American Legion Post 24 and the ladies auxiliary.