WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - There are new orders for this year’s and future Operation Thanksgiving, only families that have current base ID credentials can host our airman because of what Sheppard Air Force Base calls an “increasingly challenging security environment.”
Wichita Falls couple Don and Suzanne Yeager said they have hosted airman in the past and were disappointed by the policy change but understand the decision.
“Our own children are all grown and don’t get to come home from Thanksgiving very much any more," Don said. “We used to have big family celebrations but now it’s just the two of us so we wanted to share that celebration with them. It was kind of like having them home from college.”
“It reminded me when our boys used to chow down on their Thanksgiving dinner," Suzanne said. "I really enjoyed it so it was fun.”
“We have some friends coming over from church to share Thanksgiving with us but we will miss having the young men here with us,” Don said.
Sheppard Air Force Base officials said in a statement it was a difficult decision to make but a necessary one due to the increasingly challenging security environment. They also wanted to thank the public for its support for the airman.
The couple both come from a military background. Don’s father was an airman so he understands the decision.
“I know the security issues," Don said. "I’ve been on and off base different times. I know they just have to deal with the reality of the world.”
The couple hosted airman the past two years and were planning to host them again this year.
“The first year that we did, they played basketball in the backyard, we watched football games on and they called their families for Thanksgiving," Don said.
“We always had a lot of food,” Suzanne said. "They always enjoyed that.”
The couple said this year there will be some empty plates this Thanksgiving dinner compared to last year.
“We have some friends coming over from church to share Thanksgiving with us but we will miss having the young men here with us," Don said.