Military families board Snowball Express

LITTLE ROCK, AR — It’s the trip these families have been waiting for all year long!

“[I’m] Getting my manicure and just socializing with the other families. Yeah, and a massage,” said Leslie Haynes, who’s headed to Dallas.

It’s a festive trip to Dallas.  Not one cent came out of their pockets for the four-day trip to Big D!

“It’s so amazing.  It really is. I’m happy to see my friends again,” Linnijha Ward said.

But when you think about it, they did pay.  The price: Losing a loved one who fought for our country.

“I think he’s very brave,” said Mason Fontenot, who’s dad died six years ago.

Fontenot has a limited memory of his dad but has tremendous respect for him.

“He wanted to fight for our country and keep us safe,” he said.

All these survivors — who lost fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters — are boarding a flight to get their minds off who won’t be home for Christmas.

“To give back in a way that makes them smile to let them know we’re there and to be with others, nothing can describe it,” Paul Palmersheim said.

Among the activities, the families will participate in a parade, visit Six Flags, and attend a concert.

“Nothing like seeing a smile on a kid’s face and sometimes I don’t know who gets more out of it,” Palmersheim said.

It’s a few days to show their sacrifice is not forgotten.

“I know this is once a year but it makes us feel like royalty. You feel the love,” Haynes said.

The pilot and flight attendants all volunteer on their off days to participate. The families will be back Tuesday, December 4.

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