Santa, Mrs. Claus spread cheer to Families of Fort Johnson

By Porsha AuzenneDecember 20, 2023

Santa, Mrs. Claus spread cheer to Families of Fort Johnson
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Santa and company visit with the students of Parkway Elementary and North Elementary Dec. 14. (Photo Credit: Porsha Auzenne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Santa, Mrs. Claus spread cheer to Families of Fort Johnson
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Santa, along with Col. CJ Lopez, Fort Johnson garrison commander, visits Parkway Elementary School Dec. 14 to meet with students and wish them a happy holiday. (Photo Credit: Porsha Auzenne) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT JOHNSON, La. — Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and their elves stopped early at Fort Johnson during the holiday season.

Hailing all the way from the North Pole, the group has already attended a multitude of events which include the Snowflake Festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony, bowling with children at Warrior Lanes Bowling Center and a visit to Alligator Lake Recreation Park.

They also visited children at Parkway Elementary and North Elementary and ventured into the local community areas of Leesville, DeRidder, Anacoco and Hornbeck.

However, few don’t know Santa and Mrs. Claus have aliases outside of the gift-giving season.

Steve Humphries, Fort Johnson Casualty Assistance Center chief, and Dana Horn-Trujillo, retired Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson protocol officer, make it their mission as Mr. and Mrs. Claus to bring joy to the children of Fort Johnson every year around the holidays. One of the ways they do this is by reading all the letters sent to them by the youth.

“We read every letter we receive,” said Humphries, also known as Santa “Steve” Claus. “Some of the most touching ones are kids wishing for their military service parent to return home. An interesting one came from a young man who requested money for tattoos.”

Horn-Trujillo, also known as Mrs. Claus, nodded in agreement as she discussed the letters she viewed.

“We had children who asked for various things, including a Bible, new clothes and shoes and dolls.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus also addressed those who may not be having the jolliest of time.

“To people alone or not feeling jolly — remember to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas,” Santa said. “It’s about hope and joy. If you’re alone, there’s always somebody out there for you. Whether friends, family or acquaintances, reach out and talk to them or shake their hand. There are agencies around the installation that would love to hear from you.”

Mrs. Claus also gave advice for those who are feeling alone during the holidays.

“We all go through times when something in our life has changed, but Santa and I find when we give to other people, it brings us a special joy. Even if you are suffering through grief or a hard time, step outside your comfort zone and help bring joy to someone else. I promise you’ll leave with a smile.”

While Christmas is a time of gifts, Mrs. Claus reminded everyone of its importance.

“Presents are fun, but what’s important is spreading love and joy,” said Mrs. Claus, reminding everyone that Santa wants all children to go home and tell those they live with how much they love them.

The Clauses would also like to wish the Fort Johnson community a happy holiday!