Marines help Santa deliver Christmas gifts to Alaska

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Santa swapped his sleigh for a snowmobile while delivering toys to boys and girls in Alaska, and received help from the Marines.

The Marines traveled to Kotzebue, 884 kilometers northwest of Anchorage and 42 kilometers above the Arctic Circle, in a KC-130 operated by Okinawa-based Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 , in Japan.

Marines from the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion distribute toys to children in remote villages in support of the Toys for Tots program in Alaska.
(Department of Defense)

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From there, they took commercial flights and snowmobiles to bring toys to 2,500 children in 11 villages, the Juneau Empire reported.

The Ministry of Defense tweeted the marines belonged to the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion and distributed toys to children in remote villages as part of the Toys for Tots program

Marines from the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion distribute toys to children in remote villages in support of the Toys for Tots program in Alaska.

Marines from the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion distribute toys to children in remote villages in support of the Toys for Tots program in Alaska.
(Department of Defense)

Cpl. Brendan Mullin, who took photos of the event, could hear the children gasp as a sailor Santa walked into a pre-kindergarten classroom.

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“When you can see the smile through the mask, you know it’s a big, genuine smile,” Mullin said.

Their cheerful work was part of the Toys for Tots program run by the Marine Corps and a nonprofit foundation. Launched in 1947, the program now provides 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children every year.

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“It’s really just to benefit the kids. The sparkle in the kids’ eyes, it’s worth it,” said Capt. Keith G. Lowell, a Marine stationed in Anchorage who oversaw the mission in the neighborhood. Arctic Northwest Alaska.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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