12/15/10 — Empty Stocking Fund add on base children

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Empty Stocking Fund add on base children

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 15, 2010 1:46 PM

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4th Fighter Wing Capt. Josh Daniels organizes the many items donated to the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Angel Tree this morning.

Their sacrifices are many -- watching as parents leave for long stints at war, moving to a different base every few years, coping with all that comes with being a child of an American airman.

And this year, with so many Seymour Johnson airmen and women deployed or preparing to be deployed, taking care of the needs of those who remain behind is as much the responsibility of the community that surrounds the base as it is those who are part of the Air Force family.

So when members of the communities that surround Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and base leaders learned that more than 200 base children might not have a Christmas -- that the Angel Tree currently standing in the Base Exchange still has more than 100 "angels" hanging from its branches -- they vowed to ensure those little boys and girls wouldn't have to sacrifice a holiday that is supposed to be joyous.

Empty Stocking Fund officials have extended their annual fundraiser -- hoping to bring in enough money to cover winter clothing and toys for the children of those men and women they consider heroes.

In fact, when Goldsboro News-Argus publisher Hal Tanner III found out that the fund could do some real good on Seymour Johnson this year, he had no reservations about expanding the scope of the paper's annual undertaking.

"The decision that was made is completely in line with the spirit of the Empty Stocking Fund -- and with this community's commitment to our airmen," he said. "And if I know this county half as well as I think I do, donations will come pouring in to help the kids of our heroes."