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    Families of fallen veterans depart for Snowball Express

    Families of fallen veterans depart for Snowball Express

    Photo By Cpl. Hannah Clifton | (Pictured left to right) Elizabeth Bustamante, Dixie Davis, John McClean, Sammy Davis,...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Hannah Clifton 

    38th Infantry Division

    Fallen veteran family members departed the Indianapolis International Airport destined for the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. to spend five days at the Snowball Express.

    The Snowball Express, part of the Gary Sinise Foundation, is an annual, five-day event committed to serving children and families of fallen military heroes by helping them heal with fun and inspiring programs.

    The Snowball Express is an opportunity for families and kids to connect with peers and develop a support system.

    “There will be more than 1,700 kids and parents from 87 different airports from around the world [at the Snowball Express],” said Dixie Davis, board member of the Gary Sinise Foundation.

    Before the departure, members of the Indiana National Guard’s Survivor Outreach Services and volunteers gave all the families a warm, holiday send-off celebration, complete with caroling, face painting, caricatures, snacks, games, a chance to sit with Santa and more.

    Many special guests also visited with the families, including Medal of Honor recipient, Sammy Davis, and his wife, Dixie, both board members of the Gary Sinise Foundation, the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders and Dixie the Praying Dog.

    This experience provides children and their families a chance to spend time together, see old friends and make new ones at the “happiest place on earth.” However, it is also an opportunity to carry on the legacy of their loved ones.

    Mother and surviving military spouse, Krista Williams, shared that the husband had intended to take his family to Disney World when he returned from his deployment. However, in 2012, he tragically lost his life before he had the chance.

    “I am looking forward to more one-on-one time with my daughters and I will be honoring [my husband] in Disney World,” said Williams. “I am also looking forward to the girls meeting Mickey Mouse, he always wanted to take them to Disney to meet Mickey.”

    Many families, like the Williams family, are looking forward to the Snowball Express for five days of hope, healing and fun.

    To learn more about the Indiana National Guard’s Survivor Outreach Services visit



    Date Taken: 12.07.2019
    Date Posted: 12.10.2019 06:17
    Story ID: 354804
    Location: INDIANAPOLIS , IN, US 

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