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Air Guard visits Vineland Home

Staff Sgt. Mario Gray carols with the fourth graders from the Seaview School during the New Jersey Air Guard’s visit to Vineland Veterans Memorial Home on Dec. 17. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177th FW/PAO.

Staff Sgt. Mario Gray carols with the fourth graders from the Seaview School during the New Jersey Air Guard’s visit to Vineland Veterans Memorial Home on Dec. 17. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177th FW/PAO.

December 2008 -- The annual 177th Fighter Wing and 108th Air Refueling Wing holiday visit to the Vineland Veterans Memorial Home was again, a great success. On Dec. 17 members of the NJANG, armed with cards, gifts and goodies joined fourth grade students from the Seaview School on their annual mission to bring joy and good cheer to our Veterans each holiday season.

The members of the NJANG delivered food, gifts and other items donated from their respective organizations to the Veterans Home Staff. Joining the children, we then split up into four groups and walked the halls of the Veterans Home singing holiday songs and visiting with the residents. The Veterans always enjoy seeing current service members and talking about their time in the military and vice-versa. As always though, the children stole the show. I've learned over the years that you just can't up-stage 90 caroling fourth graders. They're a lot cuter than we are.

Thanks to everyone who supplied us with means to accomplish our mission. Whether you donated clothes, money, food, gifts or your valuable time, it was deeply appreciated. I was told, not only by the Veterans themselves but also by the Veterans Home Staff, what a great deal our event means to all of them.

Overall, it really raised the spirits of the residents. Another successful mission. Thank you all very much.

Thank you 108th ARW:
Senior Master Sgt. Brian Kilpatrick
Senior Master Sgt. Paul Thompson
Master Sgt. Ferdie Bautiste
Master Sgt. Eric Stromberg
Master Sgt. Robert Boer
Tech. Sgt. Chris Goulden
Staff Sgt. Mario Gray
Staff Sgt. Lucas Lopez

Thanks for Gifts and Donations:
The 108th ARW Chiefs Council - presented by Chief Master Sgt. Tom Dickson
The Dave Savino Fund - presented by Senior Master Sgt. Mike Balas
108th Aircraft Generation Squadron
Chief Master Sgt. George Phillips
Chief Master Sgt. Ariano Collazo and family
Master Sgt. Eric Stromberg and family
Master Sgt. Robert Boer and family
Staff Sgt. Dawn McCoy and family
Special thanks to Tech. Sgt. Chris Goulden for supplying the bus and driving the volunteers down to the home and back.