The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels squadron transformed its C-130 aircraft into a modern-day Santa’s sleigh in support of the U.S Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Program, hauling several pallets of toys to children affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The Blue Angel stunt crew, along with Santa and his elf, arrived from Florida in Wrightstown, N.J., where many residents have needed to forestall celebrating the holidays because the hurricane forced upon them more pressing concerns.
One of the families invited to the airfield was that of volunteer firefighter Peter Sabey.
Peter and his wife, whose home in Tom’s River, N.J. was flooded during the storm, said their daily activities are now tied up trying to restore some sense of normalcy to their lives.
“Going Christmas shopping for our kids has taken a seat to us making calls to insurance companies and trying to get our lives back,” said Heather Sabey, who feels like a burden has been lifted.
“Receiving Christmas presents thanks to Toys for Tots today is going to be huge for our kids to feel the love and the joy of the season from all over the country.”
The Toys for Tots deliveries are an annual tradition for the Blue Angels. Last year they airlifted gifts to families who’d survived the devastating tornadoes in Alabama.
“It’s simply a matter of taking the opportunity to do what we can for those in need,” said Frosch. “It wasn’t a question of whether we could support this outstanding cause, but rather, how soon we could provide support and get toys to the children.”
Among the crew of Blue Angels who made the trip for this mission were some active- duty servicemembers originally from the Northeast, giving this trip a special meaning to them.
Logistics Specialist 2nd Class William Kelly, a supervisor in the Blue Angel’s Supply Department, was visiting family in New Jersey and rode out the early days of the storm in his family’s home. ” I can’t imagine how the children in this area feel,” said Kelly.
“Coming on this trip to help out and bring a little Christmas joy to them was something I jumped at soon as I heard about it.”
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