Local soldiers return home for the holidays
PHILADELPHIA - December 24, 2013 (WPVI) -- Many of our military men and women are home for the holidays and they've been streaming through Philadelphia International Airport throughout this Christmas Eve.
22-year-old Raffaele Albanese from Lawrenceville, New Jersey is in the US Army, stationed in Georgia. He's here for 10 days.
"It's going to be good because I don't know the next time I'm going to be home because after this it's really no long breaks," Albanese said.
Soldiers like Raffaele are thankful to be home and thanks to the USO in PHL we found many who were able to travel with a little more ease.
The organization provides food, a place to relax and even toys for active military members who maybe didn't have a chance to get that last minute shopping done.
"We want to make sure that while they're with us here, they're as relaxed and as comfortable as possible. You know a lot of times its stressful in the military so if we can eliminate that stress while they're traveling that's what our goal is," USO volunteer Brandon Pugh said.
For Army Sergeant David Graves from Tennessee, he's ready to spend his first Christmas with his 5-month-old daughter Lily Jade.
He'll be deploying to Afghanistan again soon.
"My wife and I have been together for a little over a year now so this will be our first Christmas as a family so actually getting to go home, even with the deployment coming up, it's huge. It's the best Christmas present any soldier could ask for," Sgt. Graves said.
philadelphia news, philadelphia international airport, holidays, christmas, army, local/state, kenneth moton
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