COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A group of local Italian children in a permanent foster care facility in Acireale, Sicily, received Christmas a little early.
Soldiers from the Joint Tactical Ground Station at U.S. Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, gave more than 50 gifts to the children at the Alba Chiara Orphanage, Dec. 21, as part of an annual detachment toy drive organized by Staff Sgt. Paul Gutierrez and Sgt. Collin Crutchfield.
“I was very humbled by this experience,” Gutierrez said. “The joy and happiness you could see radiating from these children's smiles will forever be imbedded in my mind. Being able to bring what seems like a little Christmas gift to some, ended up meaning so much more to not only the children but the staff of the orphanage and our team here at Alpha Detachment.”
Crutchfield said he was grateful to be involved in the event.
“While we were at the orphanage the children were able to open the gifts and play with them,” Crutchfield said. “I was really happy to see them smile and to see some Christmas joy brought to them especially during such hard times. It was an awesome experience and something I wish more people got to do.”
Alpha Detachment is one of four JTAGS units forward-deployed that provides in-theater 24/7/365 missile warning to geographic combatant commanders giving them near real-time data of significant events captured through the use of overhead persistent infrared sensors.