KAFB firefighters spread holiday cheer

Members of the community are served a full holiday meal at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department for underprivileged families. Children get to visit with Santa leave with a gift.

Members of the community are served a full holiday meal at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department for underprivileged families. Children get to visit with Santa leave with a gift.

Santa Claus visits with a young child at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department as a service to underprivileged families in the community. In addition to a visit with Santa, the participants are served a full holiday meal.

Santa Claus visits with a young child at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department as a service to underprivileged families in the community. In addition to a visit with Santa, the participants are served a full holiday meal.

The Kirtland Fire Department hosted the 39th annual Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event helps families in need by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, and sending the children home with gifts.

The Kirtland Fire Department hosted the 39th annual Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event helps families in need by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, and sending the children home with gifts.

Fire Chief Darryl Stewart, chief of the Kirtland Fire Department, helped put on Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event helps families in need by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, and sending the children home with gifts.

Fire Chief Darryl Stewart, chief of the Kirtland Fire Department, helped put on Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event helps families in need by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, and sending the children home with gifts.

Members of the community attend Operation Holiday Cheer at the Kirtland Fire Station on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event serves a full holiday meal to underprivileged families. The children visit with Santa and are sent home with gifts donated by people around the city.

Members of the community attend Operation Holiday Cheer at the Kirtland Fire Station on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event serves a full holiday meal to underprivileged families. The children visit with Santa and are sent home with gifts donated by people around the city.

Members of the community surrounding Kirtland are served a full holiday meal at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department for underprivileged families. Children get to visit with Santa leave with a gift.

Members of the community surrounding Kirtland are served a full holiday meal at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department for underprivileged families. Children get to visit with Santa leave with a gift.

Santa Claus visits with a members of the community at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department. In addition to a visit with Santa, the participants are served a full holiday meal.

Santa Claus visits with a members of the community at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department. In addition to a visit with Santa, the participants are served a full holiday meal.

A child admires the animals at the Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department and serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift.

A child admires the animals at the Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department and serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift.

A child eats his holiday meal at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department and serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift.

A child eats his holiday meal at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department and serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift.

Santa Claus waves to members of the community at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department. In addition to a visit with Santa, the participants are served a full holiday meal.
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Santa Claus waves to members of the community at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department. In addition to a visit with Santa, the participants are served a full holiday meal.

Children proudly display what Santa gave them at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20th, 2017 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.  This event serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal, a visit with Santa, and sending the children home with gifts.
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Children proudly display what Santa gave them at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20th, 2017 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal, a visit with Santa, and sending the children home with gifts.

A child waits patiently for dinner at the Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department and serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift.
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A child waits patiently for dinner at the Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department and serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift.

The Kirtland Fire Department hosted the 39th annual Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift.
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The Kirtland Fire Department hosted the 39th annual Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event serves underprivileged families in the local communities by giving them a full holiday meal and a visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift.

Members of the community surrounding Kirtland enjoy a full holiday meal at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department for underprivileged families. Children get to visit with Santa leave with a gift.
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Members of the community surrounding Kirtland enjoy a full holiday meal at the annual Operation Holiday Cheer event on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This event is hosted by the Kirtland Fire Department for underprivileged families. Children get to visit with Santa leave with a gift.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico --

The Kirtland Fire Department hosted Operation Holiday Cheer on Dec. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. 

This annual event provides a full holiday meal to underprivileged families from local communities. In addition, children visit with Santa, who sends them home with a gift donated by caring folks from the base and around the city.   

“These events help build a good relationship with the Albuquerque community,” said Fire Station chief Matthew Woods.  “It’s great that we get to bring them on the base and show them what the base is doing for them.”

Woods says that these events are held to show the community that Team Kirtland cares about them.

“We’re feeding roughly 2000 people in need,” Woods said.  “We feed them, we entertain them here for a little bit, and then we have the children come through and we give them a gift.”

With nearly 500 families in attendance, several parents were thankful to have a little help this Christmas.

“As a mother, all I want is for my kids to be happy,” said Janet, who participated in Operation Holiday Cheer.  “The smiles on their faces today is the best gift I could have asked for.  I’m just so thankful.”

Even though visiting with Santa was the last part of the event, the children said it was well worth the wait.

“I got a NERF gun set,” said Ashton, 9.  “It looks so cool and I can’t wait to use it.  I totally wasn’t expecting it.”