Twentynine Palms -- Despite the 100-degree temperatures, children played in powdery snow and cut paper into snowflakes. The spirit of Christmas could be felt in the June air.
The Armed Services YMCA held its first Christmas You Missed event at building 1707 aboard the Combat Center, June 25, 2016.
ASYMCA organized the event so service members who were on deployment during the holiday season could celebrate Christmas with their families. There were different activities available for service members to enjoy with their families including; art and crafts, an inflatable bounce house and a visit from Santa Claus himself.
“The military lifestyle is hard all on its own and a child doesn’t really understand all the things that go along with the lifestyle,” said Yeseida Reyes, special events coordinator, ASYMCA. “It is very important to maintain a good family-oriented environment, so that as they grow up they realize they are not alone and there is a whole community that supports them and that they can call family.”
ASYMCA volunteers came to help make this event special for more than 35 families.
“This event gives the families that magical moment of Christmas,” said Tiffany Ferguson, volunteer, ASYMCA. “They may have missed it back in December, but the date that it happens shouldn’t matter; it’s the memories that do.”
For many service members, like Cpl. Gabriel Moreira, mortarman, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, this was an opportunity to make up on lost time with his daughter.
“This event gives us that chance to spend that special Christmas time with our kids,” said Moreira. “It’s nice to experience it, even if it’s in June.”