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Operation Homefront provides holiday meals for military families

Operation Homefront provides holiday meals for military families. (ABC7)

Even before the Operation Homefront holiday meals event kicked off at noon, military families lined the hallway at the Colony South Hotel in Clinton.

“Oh, it’s so good to see you!” Janell Kersh, who has served in the U.S. Air Force for 17 years said, smiling, as she hugged a volunteer.

Two hundred military service members stocked up on holiday essentials.

“We have the holiday meal fixings, like mashed potatoes, marshmallows, and cans of green beans and corn and all that good stuff,” said Ashley Baxter with Operation Homefront.

Kersh says it’s her first time taking part in the event.

“To see all these people back here, you already know I’m not the only one and I’m not going through something alone,” she said.

The group has the operation down to a science.

“We have families that break down and cry and it feels like it’s your sister or brother and all you can do is say, ‘I’m here for you,’ and give them a hug,” Baxter said.

Children lined up to tell Santa their Christmas wishes. Each family got to choose one gift to take home.

“Sometimes it is emotional and at the end of the day, we’re all a big family,” Baxter said.

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