Military families celebrate the season Published Dec. 20, 2017 By Tech. Sgt. Gregory Ferreira 162nd Wing TUCSON, Ariz. -- The tenth annual Holiday Open House delivered toys to military families at the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Wing, Saturday, Dec. 16. The Family Readiness Office teamed up with non-profit organizations in Arizona that are dedicated to supporting military families, to host the annual holiday event. "This would not be possible without the efforts of all the volunteers that help make this event happen," said Barb Gavre 162nd Wing family readiness coordinator. "A big thank you goes out to Operation Home Front, Military Assistance Mission and the Airmen of the 162nd Wing for all they do to ensure military families have the opportunity to receive gifts for Christmas." After days of preparation and countless volunteer hours logged by more than 40 volunteers, the thousands of toys were sorted, displayed and ready for eager little hands to pick up. “Volunteering and seeing the joy in the kids is rewarding because they can choose as many gifts as they like as well as have the chance to meet Santa Claus,” said Chief Master Sgt. Rose Mardula, human resource advisor. Throughout the day, more than 500 children filled 30 gallon bags with an assortment of toys and goodies. “It makes me feel good to see the unit family members be able to come and select gifts for their families,” said Senior Master Sgt. Courtna Brown from the 162nd Wing Finance Office. Staff Sgt. Van Whatcott, a broadcast journalist with the 162nd Wing Public Affairs office, attended the event with his wife and seven children. “The holiday house shows the family atmosphere of the wing. It is great to be a part of the 162nd Wing family,” said Whatcott.