The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) and WANE 15 partnered to bring a little holiday joy to two local military families by hosting a Home for the Holidays campaign. Members of the community were asked to submit a nomination for an active duty military personnel to bring home for the holidays.
Gage Phillips is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps and made the trip home to Fort Wayne from his station in Honolulu, Hawaii. He arrived at Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. His grandfather, a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, is currently on dialysis and in need of a kidney transplant.
Daniel Hockenberry, who serves in the United States Air Force, came home from Great Falls, Montana. He arrived on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 to ring in the New Year with his mother, Brenda, who sent in the nomination. Daniel just completed a deployment in Japan and hasn’t been able to come home in four years.
The Airport Authority was honored to be able to bring home soldiers for the holidays.
In a twist of events in the selection process, an anonymous Fort Wayne resident was so touched by WANE 15 and the Airport Authority’s generosity in bringing home two soldiers, that he wanted to help to bring home an additional soldier. Due to his generosity, a third serviceman was able to fly home for Christmas.
Spencer Myers, who is currently serving in the United States Army, was able to fly home on Thursday, Dec. 20 to spend Christmas with his fiancé, who is expecting their first child. He will be deployed in January and they are not sure where he will be sent or for how long. Kathy Cooper, grandmother of Spencer Myers, who submitted his nomination, is eternally grateful to the donor’s generosity.
“I would like to thank [the donor] for your generosity, to care about my young soldier and all soldiers who give all they have to protect each and every one of us,” says Kathy Cooper, grandmother of Spencer Myers. “[My grandson] was able to come home and marry the love of his life while he was home for Christmas. Saying thank you seems like so little, but it truly comes from my heart.”