VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. - Vandenberg Air Force Base is one of the few places on the Central Coast that doesn't shut down for the holidays. That means hundreds of employees will be away from their families this Christmas Eve and Christmas day. But through the effort of the group Operation Holiday Wagon, they can still experience some Christmas cheer while working.
Operation Holiday Wagon has been going on for 30 years now, dropping off food for Vandenberg personnel on Christmas Eve. But with some participation from local businesses, this year is bigger than ever.
Air Force Captain Joshua McCullion is the one in charge of the program this year. According to McCullion, he made several calls to local businesses asking for donations. It's the first time the program has done so in it's 30-year history.
McCullion says the response was huge. PJ's Deli in Lompoc donated 100 sandwiches. Albertsons donated sodas. The American Legion Post 56 Ladies Auxiliary in Santa Maria baked 800 cookies. Those are just a few examples.
Westside Pizza in Lompoc donated 50 personal pizzas. Owner Glenys Archer says it's a small token of appreciation.
"It's our great pleasure to give them back something," says Archer. "They work very hard, they serve our country. And we feel very honored to help them during the holiday season."
The donations will be dropped off to around 30 locations on the base. According to McCullion, close to 250 personnel will be working tonight.
And McCullion says that due to the large response from local businesses, there was no need to ask for donations from the public.
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