LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - For many East Texas families, the holidays are incomplete, as they have a family member serving in the military. But hospital workers in Longview have come up with a way to send a little bit of Christmas to their loved ones overseas: Operation Secret Santa.
For Cynthia Cavitt the holidays are a little less festive. Her son PFC Robert Cavitt is serving in Iraq, and won't be home for Christmas.
"It's very sad," said Cavitt. "This is the second Christmas he's not been with us. It's just not the same. He's my only son my only child so it's kind of not Christmas without him."
Through Longview Regional Hospital's project, Operation Secret Santa, donations were taken from staff helping families send Christmas care packages to their servicemen.
"I miss him terribly," said Kim McClain, whose son Blake Nance is in the Air Force. "His grandmother misses him. It's our biggest holiday of the year."
Ruth Jimenez's thoughts are on her son, Navy Lieutenant Andy Lucas, serving in Bahrain.
"He didn't make very many home," said Jimenez. "He's been in 14 years now. We miss him. We love having him around. I think we all feel bad that he can't be with us."
Snacks, books and even movies may not seem like much, but they mean a lot.
"And, they were so excited over the littlest thing so I hope that does that again," said Jimenez.
"I'm hoping this will lift everybody's spirits and let them know that we're thinking about them and care for them and we're praying for them on a daily basis," said McClain.
They hope the packages will say one very important thing.
"That he's protecting our freedom and that he's very important to us," said Cavitt.
"I miss you wish you could be here for Christmas and we're all really proud of you," said Jimenez.
The hospital administration is covering all of the shipping costs for the packages to service personnel overseas. Around 24 packages will be sent out Friday.