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Operation Homefront provides free holiday meals to military families

SAN DIEGO -- Operation Homefront gave hundreds of local military families a helping hand this holiday season through its free holiday meals program.

On Saturday at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, nearly 400 families received a decorative bag full of non-perishable food and a gift card they can redeem for groceries for a full holiday meal at Walmart.

“We are getting stocking stuffers, scarves, games, food -- it’s amazing all that they do and we’re real grateful for it,” said Sylvia Walope, whose husband is a Marine.

Through registration, those serving active duty E1 through E6 as well as wounded, ill or injured service members could participate.

“Just so awesome to see people giving so much for people they don’t even know,” said Amber Patton, a Navy veteran and now Navy spouse.

“Our family is in Idaho and Utah.  We were there last year but this year we are away from them so it's just us and it makes it really nice to enjoy that Christmas dinner and hang out and spend some family time together,” Patton said.

The annual event is possible thanks to generous donors and is even sending one lucky family to Disneyland.

“We won the Disneyland tickets. I’ve never won anything like that before so I was amazed and shocked!” said Walope, who plans to take her family to the amusement park over the holidays.

For more information on Operation Homefronts meals for military visit