Santa lands from the sky for a holiday celebration - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Santa lands from the sky for a holiday celebration

Soldiers play holiday jazz and kids jump from towers.

"I was too scared," said 9-year-old Lexi Johnson.

This is how Fort Benning gears up for the holidays by lighting one of the Airborne Towers.

"It's great.  It gives us an opportunity to take part when we're away from our home, and we're having a good time."

Santa normally uses a sled, but he and his elves use something a little different to visit the children of Fort Benning: parachutes.

"It was a little nerve-wracking.  I only get to do this once a year," said Santa.

As the guest of honor, Santa helps turn on the lights to the 250 foot Airborne Tower before being swarmed by children.

Captain David Lemay with 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Regiment says organizing the lighting of the Airborne Tower is a huge task.

"It absolutely takes the entire instillation.  Our unit sort of hosts it, but we always have to coordinate with everyone here at Fort Benning to make it happen," said Lemay.

 Just down the road, is the reason why Santa had to make such a unique flight.  Two of his reindeer are spending time with Fort Benning families.

"Rudolph the Reindeer!"

"I think there are in training.  I think the bigger reindeer are actually with Santa.  They're practicing right now.  These are the little junior varsity.  They're going to be out there next year."    

Fort Benning says all these activities are to show gratitude for the soldiers and their families who sacrifice all year around. 

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