138th FW Provides Toys for Families of Airman

Mrs. Connie Hurt, 138th Fighter Wing's Airman and Family Programs Manager, and Technical Sergeant Elizabeth O'Connell, 138th Fighter Wing Airman and Family Program Assistant, transforms the 138th Fighter Wing Aerospace Dining Facility into a one stop shop, offering up thousands of toys to the immediate families of Airman from the 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa Air National Guard.  Thousands of toys were donated by Family Dollar stores in the local area, as part of Operation Homefront.  (U.S. National Guard Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen/Released)

Mrs. Connie Hurt, 138th Fighter Wing's Airman and Family Programs Manager, and Technical Sergeant Elizabeth O'Connell, 138th Fighter Wing Airman and Family Program Assistant, transforms the 138th Fighter Wing Aerospace Dining Facility into a one stop shop, offering up thousands of toys to the immediate families of Airman from the 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa Air National Guard. Thousands of toys were donated by Family Dollar stores in the local area, as part of Operation Homefront. (U.S. National Guard Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen/Released)

Technical Sergeant Elizabeth O'Connell, 138th Fighter Wing's Airman and Family Readiness Assistant, helps transform the 138th Fighter Wing Aerospace Dining Facility into a one stop shop, offering up thousands of toys to the immediate families of Airman from the 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa Air National Guard.  Thousands of toys were donated by Family Dollar stores in the local area, as part of Operation Homefront. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen/Released)

Technical Sergeant Elizabeth O'Connell, 138th Fighter Wing's Airman and Family Readiness Assistant, helps transform the 138th Fighter Wing Aerospace Dining Facility into a one stop shop, offering up thousands of toys to the immediate families of Airman from the 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa Air National Guard. Thousands of toys were donated by Family Dollar stores in the local area, as part of Operation Homefront. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen/Released)

Mrs. Connie Hurt, 138th Fighter Wing's Airman and Family Programs Manager, transforms the 138th Fighter Wing Aerospace Dining Facility into a one stop shop, offering up thousands of toys to the immediate families of Airman from the 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa Air National Guard.  Thousands of toys were donated by Family Dollar stores in the local area, as part of Operation Homefront.  (U.S. National Guard Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen/Released)

Mrs. Connie Hurt, 138th Fighter Wing's Airman and Family Programs Manager, transforms the 138th Fighter Wing Aerospace Dining Facility into a one stop shop, offering up thousands of toys to the immediate families of Airman from the 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa Air National Guard. Thousands of toys were donated by Family Dollar stores in the local area, as part of Operation Homefront. (U.S. National Guard Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen/Released)

The 138th Fighter Wing Aerospace Dining Facility has been transformed into a one stop shop, by the 138th Fighter Wing's Airman and Family Programs Office, offering up thousands of toys to the immediate families of Airman from the 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa Air National Guard.  Toys were donated by Family Dollar stores in the local area, as part of Operation Homefront. (U.S. National Guard Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen/Released)

The 138th Fighter Wing Aerospace Dining Facility has been transformed into a one stop shop, by the 138th Fighter Wing's Airman and Family Programs Office, offering up thousands of toys to the immediate families of Airman from the 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa Air National Guard. Toys were donated by Family Dollar stores in the local area, as part of Operation Homefront. (U.S. National Guard Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen/Released)

Tulsa Air National Guard -- Bitter cold weather yielding ice and snow swept through Oklahoma and most of the nation in early December 2013, the inclement weather forced the cancelling of numerous events, closed schools, and altered plans for many Americans from Texas to the far Northeast. The 138th Fighter Wing Children's Christmas Party held every year at the Tulsa Air National Guard base was one such event. "I don't ever remember us having to cancel the Children's Christmas Party, even following the September 11th terrorist attacks, we still managed a Children's Christmas Party, but the weather was just too much this year," said Connie Hurt, 138th Fighter Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager.

However, the 138th Airman and Family Readiness Program would not be denied an opportunity to assist in spreading some Christmas joy. Mrs. Connie Hurt and her assistants literally turned the 138th Aerospace Dining Facility into Santa's Workshop, a one stop shop, for 138th Airman to pick up toys that were intended to be distributed to their families, at the annual Children's Christmas Party.

Connie and a host of volunteers, collected thousands of toys from area Dollar Tree stores, through Operation Homefront, and are now making those available to the immediate families of Tulsa Air National Guard Airman. The toy distribution is a three day event, but traditional guard members may come out at any time and pick-up toys, while supplies last.

"This program is vitally important for the spouses and families of our military members. It lets them know that they are valued and that they are part of our big military family." said Connie. Excess toys, if any, will be used to assist local VFW posts with their veteran's Christmas parties, and also used to help 138th families in need, throughout the year.