A holiday greeting from afar

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - Televised welcomes during the holidays bring loved ones far away into the East Texas homes of their families.  Special messages giving families a true spirit of Thanksgiving on this special day.

It was Thanksgiving Eve in the Child's home. Parents Dan and Jan sat near daughter Hayley, hoping for a message from afar.

"They told us yesterday that she was going to be on the news," said Hayley, "I was like really when did this happen."

Constant commercials followed news, soon broken by a familiar voice.

"Look there she is," exclaimed mother Jan.

"I'm Lieutenant Holly Childs stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan," said Holly via video recording, "This message goes out to my family in Jacksonville, Texas my parents Dan and Jan Childs, my grandparents Glen and Joe Horn and my sisters Heather and Hayley."

It was the first almost face to face meeting since saying goodbye last August.

"Oh I think I'm going to cry," Jan said.

Once the surprise settled in it was time to see it again with the magic of Tivo.

The middle daughter of three, Holly left home for the Air Force Academy, continuing a family tradition.

Three generations of Childs served in the military.

"My dad was in the Navy," Holly's father, Dan said, "I was in the Marines and Holly's in the Air Force.

Now far away, communication with Holly has become a commodity.

"She talked to us yesterday and said I smell the turkey cooking," joked Mr. Childs.

"Sometimes she'll call on a Sunday afternoon and I'll happen to be home but I'll get to catch the phone before they [parents] do." smiled Hayley.

Before the evening can end, a few more replays bring the words so far away so close to heart.

"I thought this was going to be another Thanksgiving, we weren't going to be able to see her," mother Jan said, "but this just this has literally made my year right here."

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