Recipient Stories

 ​​More than half of the families we supported experienced illness or loss in the past year: 
“My family and I are stationed clear across the country from the rest of our loved ones.  We have not been with our families for over 5 years for a Christmas, due to deployment and finances.  My grandmother recently passed away from cancer and we have not been able to see my grieving grandfather.  My sister-in-law has recently been diagnosed with cancer and we ache to be there for her.  We have been saving for over a year to make it home this holiday, but our four-year-old son has been diagnosed with autism and the care he needs has depleted our entire trip fund.  Skype and phone calls are one thing, but nothing would change the hurt in our hearts like being able to see them for Christmas.”

Many awardees will deploy after the holidays, and several have gone years since last seeing their families. Some service members simply wanted to reunite with their own spouses and children:
​“Last year, during the Christmas holiday, I was deployed to Afghanistan. Although I was able to use Skype on Christmas day to see my wife and watch my daughter unwrap her presents, it’s not the same as being physically together.  All of our money is going toward getting ready for our new baby’s arrival and helping my in-laws get by during difficult times.  Without help from Home for the Holidays, we’ll go another year without seeing our families.”

​Awards make a difference by supporting the readiness of our troops:
“As families across our country head home for the holidays, it is often the military family that spends it alone. We miss out on births, birthdays, graduations and sadly saying ‘goodbye’ to our loved ones.  Holidays remind the military family just how alone we often feel, because we aren’t there to share a feast at Thanksgiving, or the joys of seeing our families open presents on Christmas.  We miss these extremely important events because we choose to serve our country first.”