Airmen bring Christmas to kids with special needs

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – About 20 reservists from the 67th Aerial Port Squadron brought the Christmas spirit to Mound Fort Junior High in Ogden today, delivering gifts to students with special needs.

Dressed in elf gear, reindeer hats, and camouflage, the Airmen continued a longstanding tradition of providing toys, clothes, and school supplies to the class.

“I really wanted to get involved with the community,” said Airman Amy Barnes, an air transportation journeyman who is brand new to the Air Force Reserve and the 67th APS holiday tradition. “Seeing everyone so happy makes me feel the Christmas spirit.”

As in years past, Santa Claus made a special appearance to talk one-on-one with students and deliver gifts tailored to each child’s unique Christmas list. The Airmen also donated gifts for the classroom as a whole, such as cleaning supplies and appliances.

“The kids get genuinely excited about this,” said Chief Master Sgt. Matthew McElreath, who helped plan the effort. “It’s nice to be able to meet the classroom’s needs every year, and it’s nice to see familiar faces.”

The 67th APS is home to nearly 200 Citizen Airmen who train for worldwide deployment.