Families of fallen soldiers take off on 'Snowball Express'
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Families of fallen soldiers got a special send off at Logan Airport on Friday morning. They are getting a free vacation to Texas in hopes of making their holidays a bit brighter this year.
American Airlines’ annual Snowball Express took off from Boston Friday. It’s an event dedicated to families of fallen military soldiers.
“It’s right before the holidays and we can get away and do something different, take our minds off things,” said Faith Harrington, who is attending Snowball Express.
The nationwide event features an all-expenses paid vacation to Dallas, filled with activities like amusement parks, dining and concerts.
“Gabe was 10 weeks old when his dad died, they never met each other. It’s always helped to come out every year, meet other kids like him, it’s allowed him to understand a little bit more about who his dad was,” said Heather Gunn, whose fiancé was killed in Iraq.
“The kids had an amazing time getting to meet other kids, knowing they’re not alone. They just got to have fun and not worry about anything,” said Jennifer Diamond, whose husband was killed in Afghanistan.
As young as the children are, they have fond memories of their fathers.
“Every time he came back in the summer we went to Canobie Lake Park and all this fun stuff,” said one child.
American Airlines decked their halls making sure all the children had a very special sendoff from the gate to the cockpit.
For returning parents like Gunn, these trips are a way to enjoy the company of other families affected by a similar loss.
“There’s a big huge reality that sets in because we started at the very first Snowball and each year we go it gets bigger and bigger,” said Gunn.
Once the flight left Boston, the four families will go to Dallas to meet 1,700 other families from around the country, all of them spending the next four days together.