Soldiers' Families Get Shopping Spree

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Right now many Michigan families are getting ready for a holiday without a loved one serving overseas.

"It is very hard because most years the kids wake up Daddy for Christmas. However, this year all I can say is Daddy is at work, and that's how we get through the day. Daddy's at work," says Kortnie Sabin.

Her husband is serving as a Michigan Army National Guardsman in Tikrit, Iraq. He won't be coming home until at least August.

However, the sacrifice these families pay to serve their country isn't only emotional. For many Guardsmen like Kortnie's husband serving their country means sacrificing possibly a higher paying job. It is a situation that can leave many families struggling, especially when it comes to Christmas.

So on Saturday, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club answered the call to duty to help. The companies gave out $100 gift cards, sending families of Michigan guardsmen from the 119th field artillery out of Albion on a holiday shopping spree at the Grand Ledge Wal-Mart.

"It feels good. Sometimes I'm scrimping money together just to send him a few boxes," says Sabin.

Not only is she buying Christmas gifts for the kids, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are paying to send 15 care packages to soldiers serving overseas. On top of the gifts, children at the event enjoyed a day of celebration, with crafts, Santa, and cake.

Soldiers volunteering at the event like First Sgt. William Switzer, say it means more than anyone could know.

"It is unbelievable the support now. Compared to 15, 20 years ago, used to be you couldn't go anywhere if you wore this uniform. Now... "