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VFW POST 8696 WELCOMES HOME UNIT IN CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

Florida Post 8696 hosts holiday party for Daytona 194th Transport Company.

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Overwhelming tears of joy and thanks were seen at the Welcome Home holiday party hosted by Post 8696 for the members of the Daytona 194th Transport Company, of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Post Commander Lorenzo J. Nacci and his Post have been welcoming home members of the unit for the past year, including many over the holiday season. But they wanted to make this occasion even more special.

Instead of hosting a simple party to thank the returning troops for their service, they hosted a full-fledged Christmas party.

“It was a great experience, for the military members and our Post,” said Nacci. “We also invited the local JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) who put on a rifle show which added to the celebration.”

“Santa was also in attendance and he gave two gifts to each of the 20 children who came with their families.”

After the excitement of seeing Santa had died down, the Post invited the unit and their families to sit down for a four-course meal.

“Every time I help a veteran, I get an overwhelming feeling of pride, and sometimes it chokes me up,” said Nacci. “But, ultimately, it reinforces my reasons for being a part of the VFW and builds on the pride I have for being an American and a veteran.”

Mary McDermott, Chairman of the Veterans and Families Committee and Jr. Vice President of Post 8696 Auxiliary said this was a spectacular event.

“This one was extra special because we were able to share the experience of Christmas with the troops and their children,” said McDermott.

Being a daughter of a veteran, McDermott could identify with the excitement and happiness the children were feeling.

“I still remember the overwhelming joy and confusion of seeing my father come home, and relived it when I looked into the eyes of the children there that day,” she said.

“The troops that were honored at our Christmas party said it meant the world to them. They were extremely grateful.”

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