Operation Phantom Support, a military-focused non-profit out of Killeen, is giving back to families this holiday season through their Toys for Troops program.
"It makes it where you don't feel like I don't have anything underneath the tree."
Nearly 500 military parents, either veterans like Chanda Gaeth or active duty, lined up at Operation Phantom Support to receive Christmas gifts for their children.
"Knowing I was able to come here, I didn't have to go, okay.. maybe I can't go get this that I want for Christmas dinner because I'm gonna go buy a toy that they need," Gaeth said.
"They can come do this and get a few extra Christmas presents, make the tree a little fatter and give them a little more sense if they did great as a father or mother of whatever because they were able to provide more," John Valentine, CEO and Founder of Operation Phantom Support, said.
For every child, parents had the opportunity to pick out two brand new toys and plenty of stocking stuffers.
"The expensive times of the year, where you're like going, oh I don't know if I'm gonna have enough. They fill in that gap really nicely, and some months it's the difference between not having, and it being an okay month," Gaeth added.
Toys for Troops has been an annual event for the past six years and is something founder John Valentine, a 20 year Army veteran, enjoys doing for his brothers and sisters in arms.
"Pride for military guys, even veterans, it's really hard for us sometimes to swallow that pill, but what we try to explain to people...we don't look down on anyone here. We're just trying to help you give a better Christmas to your family," Valentine added.
For more information on Operation Phantom Support, click here.
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