Images: Operation Havasupai [Image 18 of 19]
First Lt. Ryan E. Alvis, a Marine Forces Reserve public affairs officer, talks with a young Havasupai boy during the Toys for Tots giveaway Dec. 15, in remote Supai Village, located within the Grand Canyon. "Are the Marines here to protect Santa?" the boy asked. "We're here to protect Santa, if needed, but we protect everyone," Alvis responded. The Marines from the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764 (nicknamed the Moonlighters), Marine Aircraft Group 41, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, flew into Supai Village, Ariz., carrying toys, supplies and Santa Claus. The five airdrops completed by the Moonlighters were part of the Operation Supai, a collaboration of the Marine Corps Reserve and Toys for Tots program to help out people of the isolated Native American village located within the Grand Canyon.