(KSL) American Airlines Flight 9100 made a special pit stop in Salt Lake City Sunday to pick up some precious cargo. It’s the 11th annual “Snowball Express”, and the flight crew’s mission is to make sure military kids who’ve lost a parent have a Merry Christmas this year.
“It’s bringing tears,” said Antoinette Stapley, a military widow aboard the flight. “The emotions started a few days ago, knowing that we are going to to and be there.”
“I’ve met a lot of kids who’ve gone through the same situation as me,” said Nick Parr, a 14-year-old passenger. “This trip especially is really nice, because you don’t have to worry about explaining anything.”
Military families who’ve lost their hero spend a lot of time talking about the worst day in their lives. And though they connect over their shared experience, the Snowball Express is about making new memories.
“It makes them feel more normal when they are around other kids,” Stapley said. “That sounds weird, but they have a sense of normalcy knowing the kids have gone through something similar to what they’ve gone through.”