This will warm your heart: actor Gary Sinise is paying to fly 1,722 Gold Star family members to Disney World.
The children and spouses of fallen soldiers were flown to Florida and treated to an all-expenses-paid, five-day vacation in Orlando–an annual trip called the “Snowball Express” that’s sponsored by the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Even at airports across the country, energy was palpable–as families were loaded on one of 15 jets specifically chartered to take them to Orlando.
Families coming from Chicago were also treated to a big send-off–with onlookers dressed in holiday clothing clapping, cheering, and ringing jingle bells as the Gold Star families boarded one of 15 planes chartered to fly everyone to Orlando.
In Los Angeles Airport, Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance–arriving via helicopter–to give the children presents. And in Nashville, the bustling airport came to a standstill as the crowd sang the National Anthem.
The “Forrest Gump” and “CSI: NY” star has a long history of supporting troops–including performing at USO tours and through projects like building homes for wounded veterans and “Snowball Express.”