Eau Claire veterinarian surprised by Christmas decorations


CLEAR WATER, Wis. (WEAU) – With Christmas just two days away, a group worked to bring some Christmas cheer to an Eau Claire veteran.

In one day, a team of Santa’s Helpers with Green Oasis decorated the hallways of a house on the west side of Eau Claire.

The Vietnamese vet who received this gift said it was a complete surprise.

Each Christmas season, Green Oasis gives back to the community by decorating a veteran’s home for the holiday.

To help them connect with a veterinarian, people can send in applications.

This year, they selected Thomas McMahon.

He served as a gunner aboard helicopters that picked up soldiers during the Vietnam War.

His son-in-law appointed him to get these Christmas decorations on his lawn.

“Tom inspired me in my life,” said Greg Swoboda, McMahon’s son-in-law. “He even inspired me to join the military at one point and it’s again, a brotherhood. It doesn’t matter if he’s old or young, and if he’s my stepfather, I wanted him to he has that.

McMahon said he appreciated the new decorations.

“I used to decorate every year, but in recent years I’ve slowed down. Once I hit 80, I sort of slowed down,” McMahon said.

For his son-in-law Greg, he said it was also a great opportunity to reunite with family.

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