The holidays are about family for many people. It is the time when everyone travels in order to meet under one roof and celebrate with the people they love. Sadly, this is not always possible for our young military members. Many of these young men and women are unable to afford to make that trip back to their home town. Some go years without seeing their parents or siblings.

That is where Operation Ride Home comes in. This program gives these brave young men and woman the opportunity to apply for assistance to help them get home for the holidays. As we sit here today, reading through the applications, it is hard to imagine what it must be like for a grandparent to have a three year old grandchild they have never met. This is not uncommon for military families though. After bills are paid, many of these young men and women do not have anything left to put aside for a trip home. This is why the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Leonard Wood we are trying to help reunite these families this holiday season. There is no greater gift anyone can give, then the gift of family. We are looking forward to making phone calls this week to inform families that they get to go home.