Operation Thanksgiving

The 82nd Training Wing Chapel team at Sheppard Air force Base is getting ready for its 37th annual 'Operation Thanksgiving' event.

Each year the base advertises for families in the community to sign up to invite military men and women to come and spend the Thanksgiving holiday in their home.

Shane Moore, Chaplain and Captain for the 86th Training Wing participated in the program in 1996 and said it was a wonderful experience.

"I went over there played games. I think we played football in the yard, had an amazing meal and was just able to relax.  Just to get our minds off of things. It was kind of a normalcy of being back home," said Moore.

Moore says that he is forever grateful  for the family that invited him into their home.

"For a local community family to adopt me for a day was fantastic," said Moore. "A blessing for both the adopting family and the airmen that is being adopted."

Airmen John Downing, first year student at Sheppard is participating in the event this year. This is his first  time being away from home for the holidays.

'It's a little tough being away from your family, especially for the first time, but thankful for the opportunity to have a host family to go to," said Downing.

While John will be away from his family for the holidays, he reminds himself on why he wanted to serve his country.

"It's just a new opportunity, new experience to better myself and do something good for our country and do my part," said Downing.

The event is offered to first year military students at Sheppard Air force Base. In 2012, 200 families and 600 students participated in the program. This year they hope that even more people sign up.

Families that are interested in sponsoring are asked to call the base chapel at (940) 676-0014. The deadline to sign up is Friday, November 22nd.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6