Hundreds of soldiers stop by Oklahoma City military center before traveling home for Christmas

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Hundreds of soldiers stopped in Oklahoma City on their way home for the holidays.

These servicemen and women are stationed at Fort Sill, flying out of the Will Rogers World Airport to spend Christmas with their friends and families.

"I'm looking forward to the pumpkin pie my mom makes," said Tia Gaddy with the U.S. Army.

"Probably, hug my mom and kiss her on the cheek," said Joseph Vieira with the  U.S. Army.

The YMCA Military Welcome Center has helped our heroes feel comfortable as they get ready to travel.

It's not always smiles for our service men and women.

Military service can cause stress and uncertainty for many active duty members.

"They're welcoming, respectful and they treat us nicely," Vieira said.

Volunteers provided support and comfort, as soldiers wait to board their flights.

"We want something that's warm and welcoming, and they offer that to us," said Bailey Ewing with the U.S. Army.

The soldier recalled coming through this center for basic training months ago.

"I was scared and terrified, and they reassured me that everything was going to be OK," Ewing said. "They helped me understand basic training and what it was going to be like."

She said she's thankful for the resources dedicated to the men and women that serve our country and for the opportunity to go home, where she plans to surprise her dad at work.

"I think he's going to cry like a baby, but he'll be happy to see me," Ewing said.

Much needed family time for these soldiers, many of them in basic training, just recently entering the army.

"Kind of unwind a little bit and get to relax before they come back in a couple weeks and get back into it," said Lyle Bushong with the U.S. Army.

The YMCA Military Welcome Center has helped more than 160,000 military personnel have a place to rest, relax and connect with family and friends during extended layovers.