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'Ho Ho' Wagon to return to Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Santa's not the only one who's making deliveries the night before Christmas.

The Ho Ho Wagon is once again preparing to deliver treats to Team V members who work Christmas Eve. Volunteers are needed to make or buy treats, as well as to make the deliveries.

"We would like at least 10 volunteers to help deliver, but we'll take as many as we can get," said James McLean, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector and lead for the Ho Ho Wagon program. "As for treats, we'll also take as much as we can get."

The treats can be everything from cookies to fudge to drink packs. All donations can be dropped off to Mr. McLean at Bldg 10660, the fire station on New Mexico Avenue, up until Christmas Eve.

For those who wish to help deliver the goodies, the Ho Ho Wagon team will form up at 6:30 p.m. at Bldg 11439, the Civil Engineer Craft Shop on Iceland Avenue. The deliveries will then start at 7 p.m., with one team leaving earlier to stop by the Lompoc Gate before it closes. Other drop off points include the command post, security forces dispatch, weather station, Space Launch Complex-6 and base lodging.

"I used to work Christmas Eve shifts, just like these people do," Mr. McLean said. "It was nice for someone to come around and bring something to snack on. What we're doing is worthwhile."

The treats not only are a "thank you" to those working Christmas Eve, but they are also used to uplift the spirits of junior Airmen away from home during the holidays. One of the stops is the G.I. Java, a coffee shop hang-out for dorm residents here.

A program like this, which has been going on for more than 27 years, is good for both the volunteer and the recipient, said Mr. McLean.

"There's satisfaction in being involved, showing someone you appreciate what they're doing," he said. "Vandenberg cares about its own."