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Airmen deliver gifts to VA patients

Santa and U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing visit with a patient while passing out gifts to veterans at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski/Released)

Santa and U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing visit with a patient while passing out gifts to veterans at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski/Released)

U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing volunteered to help pass out gifts to patients at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski/Released)

U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing volunteered to help pass out gifts to patients at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski/Released)

U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing help assemble gifts to pass out to patients at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski/Released)

U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing help assemble gifts to pass out to patients at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski/Released)

U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing help assemble gifts to pass out to patients at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski/Released)

U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing help assemble gifts to pass out to patients at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski/Released)

MILWAUKEE -- Holiday cheer flowed throughout the multi-purpose room at the hospital as military and civilian volunteers assembled gift bags to hand out to patients.   These patients were special to the military volunteers; they shared common interests, common pasts, and one common commitment.   They were veterans of the armed forces.

U.S. Airmen with the 128th Air Refueling Wing volunteered to help pass out gifts to patients at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Dec. 10, 2014. 

The volunteers assembled 420 gift bags for hospitalized patients.  They filled the bags with snacks, toiletries, hand-made gifts and donations from other service organizations.

Once the gifts were assembled, the VA and military volunteers broke into groups to distribute them to the patients.  Even Santa made an appearance to greet and thank the veteran patients.

"We are so grateful that the 128th can come out here to help us distribute gifts to the patients here at the VA," said Stephanie Pulsfus, the chief of volunteer service at the Zablocki VA Medical Center.  "It means a lot to our veterans here."

Airmen with the 128 ARW have participated in distributing gifts to patients at VA medical center for the past 8 years.

The 128 ARW plans on sending Airmen to participate in this event next year and for many years to come.