Program Sends Service Members Home For Holidays

Posted at 9:07 PM, Dec 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 22:07:52-05

Operation Ride Home has made military life a little bit easier by sending soldiers home for the holidays.

"Now I actually get a chance to see my other family, my brother, my dad as well as all my friends back home," Tyler Lanteigne said. 

Lanteigne will drive 1,200 miles to be with family in Massachusetts. Its been more than a year since he's seen them. "It means more to me than anything, honestly. Its where everyone wants to go you know," Lanteigne said. 

His story was like many others. The program is meant to help the financial burden of traveling.

"Its expensive for a family of five to fly home," said Garrett Hooker. He and his family haven't left the post in nearly three years. Some of his children have never visited his home in Arizona. "Its usually $700, $800 a ticket," Hooker explained. 

The flights have been booked and a gift card will help with any other expenses. "I'm excited, I haven't been able to go home in a long time. I'm really happy to have my children go home, go to where I was raised and just spend time with family because that's so important to me and important to my family," said Hooker. 

Through donations, Operation Ride Home offers assistance to service members in 11 posts throughout the country. To date they've helped more than 3,500 people get home for the holidays.

Operation Ride Home is in its fifth year. It does operate on donations, if you'd like to help visit their website.