Holiday party celebrates military members far from family this season

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Soldiers filled the Fort Richardson Chapel, on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to enjoy a full-course meal, listening to holiday music and even a visit with Santa Claus.

Saturday night, the JBER Retiree Council and volunteers hosted a Christmas party for single soldiers and airmen.

"We have been in a war a long time and some of these young people have never been deployed. Some of them have been deployed multiple times and we need to give back — this is giving back." Susan McDonald, of the JBER Retiree Council said.

The night was a holiday celebration for military members who can't go home for the holidays, McDonald said.

"One, you are separated from the rest of the states, it is really easy to get shut off from the rest of the world and around this time for the holidays, you don't want to do that.," Joshua Gaddy, a solider stationed at JBER said.

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