LAWTON, Okla. (KFOR) – Hundreds of soldiers from Fort Sill are making their way through Oklahoma City this weekend, en route to their families for the holidays. The YMCA likes to make their take-off from Will Rogers World Airport as comfortable as possible by welcoming them with some festive cheer.

For more than 15 years, the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City’s Military Welcome Center at the airport has been there to make the experience more comfortable, connective, and refreshing — with pizza, subs, coffee, hot chocolate, christmas carolers, and even Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

“It’s a chance for them to have a break, to come here and to relax a bit and enjoy some food and maybe some sweets, to unwind a little bit before they go on their flights,” said Troy Zeigler, the YMCA Military Welcome Center’s Director and an Air Force vet.

Picture courtesy of YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

He said every year there’s at least one especially moving moment and shared the one from last year.

“There were a couple of twins that had been separated for the first time since birth when one of them went off for basic training and they were able to meet right here during the holiday block leave and that was really a neat moment to be here for,” he said.

About 60 volunteers make it their duty to make the tradition happen every year, serving busload upon busload of servicepeople.

“Be here to treat these young soldiers with respect and let them know we care about them,” Zeigler said. “It’s an honor to be able to serve them and to help them move on.”

The YMCA said upwards of 800 soldiers will have been served by the program from Thursday through Sunday.