By Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin, 27th Public Affairs Detachment JournalistDecember 8, 2016
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Dec. 8, 2016) -- Do your children seem to be acting nicer lately? Do they appear to be doing their best to stay off the naughty list? Maybe it's because Santa has sent out his helpers to observe children in the area to give him an updated report of who's been naughty and who's been nice.
On Dec. 2, there were reports of "Santa sightings" from parents and children of Adirondack Creek, Crescent Woods, Monument Ridge and Rhicard Hills, which are all a part of the Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes at Fort Drum.
Joe McLaughlin, project director for Mountain Community Homes, is one of Santa's helpers for the Rhicard Hills area. Santa has been sending McLaughlin out on this route for the past eight years, and McLaughlin said that he is honored to be a part of this event.
"We have 3,850 fantastic Army Families living here at Fort Drum, and this is our opportunity to get out there in the community and to see our residents," McLaughlin said. "We use events like this to help create a home away from home for our military Families, because we know that most of them are generally stationed far from home."
McLaughlin went on to express that the best part of helping Santa was seeing the children gather together with smiles on their faces just waiting to see the Jolly Old Elf, sit on his lap and tell him what they would like for Christmas.
Santa's helpers appeared at different locations to spend some time with the children, to let them know Santa was thinking about them and to remind them to be good boys and girls.
Even though the night was chilly and windy, many children from the Fort Drum housing areas flooded to see Santa with hopes to talk to, share with, and perhaps even convince him, just how good they've been this year.
"I've been really good," said 6-year-old Evan. "Sometimes my sisters" -- he has three of them -- "aren't very nice to me, but I'm always nice to them."
"I think I've been good because I help my mommy clean my room," 6-year-old Isaiah told Santa.
Santa will be extremely busy for the next few days, as there are only a handful of days left until Christmas. So the next time you hear those bells ringing and the singing of Christmas carols, or the next time you happen to see that jolly man in the big red suit with a fluffy white beard, you better be good because "Santa Claus is coming to town!"