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A Military Christmas
12/24/09 - 05:47 PM
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Allyson Walker - bio
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click for larger image Parker, Fla:

It’s Christmas Eve and many of you are probably spending time with loved ones you haven’t seen in awhile. But what if you couldn’t see your family? It’s a reality for military families all over the panhandle.

Elaine Arthur is preparing for Christmas Eve with her daughter, grandchildren and husband, but one member of the family is missing.  Allan Ragan is serving in the Air Force overseas.  And like many mothers thinking of their children in the military, a piece of her heart is missing this Christmas.

“Hi I’m Tech Sgt. Paul Ragan currently stationed in the horn of Africa…” Elaine Arthur watches as her son delivers a Christmas greeting to his family online. He should be at home celebrating Christmas with his mom, but he’s overseas serving in the Air Force.  Elaine says with her son far away, her heart doesn’t quite feel whole:  “…you know, it’s like you’re missing a piece of your heart. You know, you would like for your family to be together all at one time.”

Elaine says that she worries about Allan even though today, on Christmas Eve he turns 29 years old. She hopes that he’ll find a way to make Christmas special being separated from his family:  “It hurts. You know I just pray that he gets a good, hot meal and that he has friends around him so he doesn’t get lonesome.”

And though Allan uses Facebook and instant messenger to talk with his mom…”I can just, you know, get on the internet and all of a sudden it pops up…‘Hi, Mom!’...so it’s really neat. We talk quite a bit.”

...Elaine still misses him. She’s proud of the 10 year career he’s made from serving in the Air Force. She says the military has made him tough and protective of his family:  “He’s homesick. He tries to brighten my spirits because I want him here, you know. He says he’s got plenty of people that are in the same boat as him and they all get together and celebrate together. He’s a mama’s boy and he misses his mom, but he knows he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.”

Tech Sgt. Ragan is looking forward to being “...back in Panama City, Florida. I love you guys and can’t wait to come and see y’all.  Happy holidays!”

Elaine Arthur admits that “The one thing that I would like to say and I don’t know if he’ll ever see this or not…I would like to wish my son a happy birthday and a merry Christmas and I miss you and I can’t wait to see you! I love you!

There are many military families in this same boat this Christmas. We’d like to wish you all a merry Christmas and happy new year from News 13!

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