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USO Serves Military Christmas Lunch

ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Not everyone is able to make it home for the holidays especially when duty calls.  Around 300 troops stayed aboard NAS Pensacola for Christmas this year so an army of USO volunteers did their best to make the holidays more special for our military.

Private First Class, Kalil Holman, 19, dreamed of becoming a Marine the moment he first put on the uniform in his high school ROTC.

"The uniforms, the P.T., the drill, the marching and the values that we learn" said Kalil Holman, Private First Class, US Marines.

Like many serving at his age, this is his first Christmas away from home.

"I figured I'd call my mom, I sent her a picture and I told her Merry Christmas and stuff" said Holman.
 
Lucky for Kalil and his fellow soldiers, dozens of USO volunteers dedicated part of their Christmas making the troops feel more at home.

"You can always deal with it better when you have people like the USO and then you have your brothers with you that you can laugh and joke around with" said Holman.

"I really appreciate the USO for what they do for all the military that's here stuck on base for the holidays" said Anthony Kauffman, Private First Class, US Marines.

The volunteers provided the troops a Christmas lunch.  They provided troops a place to relax, watch movies and play games.  Many volunteers come from military families themselves like Amy Coffey whose husband served 26 years in the Navy.

"I'll be back every Christmas to do this because next year it's going to be a whole different crew of people and another set of smiles" said Amy Coffey, USO volunteer.

"I know what the USO is all about and giving back to those that can't go home.  I wasn't able to go home for a few holidays so I know what it's like so I told myself when I got out that I would want to give back and be on the other end" said Tyler Boonmast, USO volunteer.

This is the fourth year the USO has held its Christmas event aboard NAS Pensacola.  
With photographer Kendall Faust, Kavontae Smalls, Channel 3 News