Military Family Watches Their Hero's Holiday Greeting - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/5/07-Gladewater

Military Family Watches Their Hero's Holiday Greeting

"This is Amanda Noe, Air Force Airman First Class in Afghanistan.  I just want to say Merry Christmas to my mom Joyce Anderson in Gladewater.  I love you, miss you and will be home soon."

It's a special message Amanda Noe wanted to send to her proud mom.

"It was really, really sweet to see her say that to me. It meant a lot," says Mom Joyce Anderson.

It's another Christmas Joyce and her two daughters will celebrate without Amanda.

"It's hard not having her here.  This is the third holiday season she hasn't been home with us and it's really hard. We miss her a lot." Joyce says.

Amanda is stationed in Okinawa, Japan, but right now she's serving a six-month tour in Afghanistan.

"I'm really concerned about her safety, and just want her home with us. I'm very proud of her.  You know, she went over there on her own," Mom adds.

They say it's the Christmas traditions that are the hardest to do without her.

"We sing Christmas songs and decorate, we have a big dinner, we stay up all night the night before cooking."

"To see her in front of all those helicopters and stuff makes me realize how much she actually is over there... how much she is fighting for us and just makes me feel really sad and want her here," says Amanda's sister, Ashley Anderson.

But they say no matter how much they miss her, they know it's being able to freely celebrate holidays like Christmas that Amanda's over there fighting.

"She joined the service knowing that she was going to probably have to do that so I'm very proud of her," Joyce adds.

"For fighting for our country...I wish her a Merry Christmas and I love her," says her eight-year-old nephew Nathan Evans.

They are words that can't be expressed in person, but at least through modern technology.

"I love you, miss you and will be home soon," Amanda says in her recorded greeting.

It's a DVD that will no doubt be played over and over again..."it will probably get wore out, it'll get played a lot," laughs Dusty Storm, Amanda's other sister.

Afterall, it's ten seconds that will have to fill that empty chair come Christmas day.

Airman First Class Amanda Noe will be home for some "Rest and Relaxation" in April and luckily her family says she will finally be able to come home and celebrate next Christmas.

Tracy Watler, Reporting. tracy@kltv.com

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