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The USO is asking for your help this holiday season as thousands of servicemembers travel through Gulf Coast airports as they head home for the holidays.

The USO Northwest Florida Centers at the Pensacola International Airport and Destin-Ft. Walton Beach Airport are extending their operating hours of operations to 24-hours a day for military personnel heading home during the peak holiday travel times. During this annual “Exodus,” the USO provides comfort and care to our service members.

“We are blessed to have so many men and women serving our country who call Pensacola home for a majority of the year,” said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward. “Our community is quick to rally behind those who defend our freedom, especially around the holidays. Tis’ the season of giving, and there is no better gift than time spent with loved ones.”

The USO is accepting refreshments such as individually packaged salty snacks and cookies, Ramen noodle cups, granola bars, peanuts, doughnuts, bottled water, canned soda, and paper products. It is the goal of the USO to make potentially long wait times fun, free, and more enjoyable.

Anyone wishing to help may drop off donations December 14 through 23 at the USO Centers at PNS and VPS. Financial support can also be given at www.uso.org/northwestflorida or by mail at P.O. Box 33135 Pensacola, FL 32508. For information about dropping off donations at PNS, you may call 850-607-8369 and for VPS, please call 850-609-4738.

On December 16th the USO at Pensacola International Airport is partnering with Coca-Cola and Walmart to bring extra holiday cheer to troops who are on their way home, with a special visit from Santa. Coca-Cola and Walmart are also donating $10,000 to the USO, which will help the USO give service members and their loved ones much-needed support this holiday season. There will be photo opportunities available with Santa from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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