Soldiers from Fort Carson's 4th Combat Aviation Brigade teamed up with “Old Saint Nick” to bring some holiday cheer to Fort Carson children Thursday, and they did it with style.
Two Blackhawk helicopters, filled with donated toys, flew into Pershing Field, where Santa Claus waited to greet them.
Troops from the brigade offloaded two large crates of toys and spent a few moments with the jolly old elf before taking off.
True, they could have driven the toys onto Fort Carson in a truck. But Ashley Simon, of Mountain Post Santa’s Workshop, said bringing them in by air was a lot more fun at a time when fun, for many Americans, is in short supply.
“This year, people need extra care, and extra love,” Simon said. “This is a really fun way to take care of soldiers and their families, and to hopefully make this year a little bit more joyous.”
Mountain Post Santa’s Workshop is a nonprofit dedicated to providing toys, games and books for children of active-duty soldiers in Colorado. Their goal is to ensure that every military child in the state, regardless of their parent’s rank, gets a toy for Christmas.
Many of the toys are donated from Army units, which Simon said is yet another example of “soldiers helping soldiers.”
“The Army is a community,” said Simon, whose husband is currently deployed overseas. “When somebody needs help, people step up, and we take care of each other.”
Simon said the workshop’s job is especially important this year, as many military families are forced to deal with the uncertainty and inconvenience brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the stress of having a loved one deployed in harm’s way, thousands of miles from home.
“The holidays are hard, especially this year,” Simon said. “And military spouses do an amazing job. This is a simple way to take one thing off their plate.”
After the helicopters took off, the toys were taken to the workshop, where Simon and her crew will use them to infuse a little Christmas magic, and some much-needed normalcy, into the lives of military families.