Hundreds Of Military Children Celebrate An Early Christmas

8:42 PM, Dec 1, 2012   |    comments
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ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) -- It was an early Christmas for more than 200 military kids on Saturday.

Some of their parents will be deployed soon and that includes Army Sgt. Demetria Hunt.

Six-year-old Khi'alani Hunt and her sister and brothers are building memories now to help them through the time their mom is deployed. Sgt. Hunt is heading to Kuwait shortly after Christmas for a year long deployment. She will most likely miss next year's Christmas.

"Those are the memories they capture, they think about when you are gone. Those are the things they reflect on. This is something that I signed up for. You love your country but you love your family. This is the sacrifice. You have to go do your job but you miss your kids," Hunt said.

Elaine Rogers, USO President, "we are saying thank you for all the sacrifices you have met and let us make it a little better during this holiday season."

11-year-old Tyrelle Hunt, "I'm having so much fun. This is really great. I've been on the bounce house a whole lot of times."

8 buses of 225 children arrived at Joint Base-Henderson Hall Community Center where it was transformed into the North Pole. They enjoyed the day of games, pictures with Santa and gift bags.

Rogers says, "It's bringing this all together and the kids are having a wonderful time."

Health Net created this program two decades ago and have reached out to 26 thousand children from coast to coast. For the 6th year, they've transformed Fort Myer into a Winter Wonderland.

Erika Greaves, Health Net says, "We gave up our Christmas party and we said what can we do to give back to the community?"

The trip to the North Pole will be one these kids will remember for a long time even if and when mom or dad leave home.
Health Net also reaches out to underprivileged children.

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