OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While we begin to gather for the holidays, some will be traveling from far away to make it home for Christmas.
Thousands of soldiers will pass through the YMCA Military Welcome Center at Will Rogers World Airport through the weekend.
“I’ve been away from home for two-and-a-half months now,” said Solomon Agyei-Boadi, who is from Ghana, West Africa and New Jersey.
“I’m going home to Orlando, Florida. I’m really looking forward to the warm weather,” said Luna Beita Marquez, who is going home to Florida.
These soldiers are ready to go home.
“I got to basic training about four weeks ago. I initially started basic training about three weeks ago, so I’m three weeks into basic training right now,” Marquez said.
“I’m going home to my family, my mom, my sisters and then a couple of friends,” Agyei-Boadi said.
Originally stationed at Fort Sill, hundreds of service men and women now sit and wait at Will Rogers World Airport for the weekend.
They are patiently waiting to board a flight to their hometowns to see family and loved ones just in time for Christmas.
YMCA volunteers and partners greeted soldiers on their way in and out of the airport.
“I think it’s just a small way for us to show gratitude to the men and women who serve our country and make such great sacrifices for us,” said Christin King, Vice President of Communications of YMCA OKC. “We have holiday entertainment like Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas carolers. Most importantly, we partner with local restaurants to provide them more meals, hot coffee, hot chocolate.”
Big reunions and homecooked meals are already on the mind of many, but not forgetting the reason they serve.
“Join the Army. In case you want to do it, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing – you can be a nurse, you can be a doctor, it doesn’t matter. Just join the Army. Experience it, it’s one of the best experiences you could ever have,” Agyei-Boadi said.
The YMCA says they’ve been greeting soldiers at the airport like this since 2007. They had 40 volunteers Thursday night and more expected throughout the weekend.
Soldiers will be flying out through Sunday.