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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

U.S.O airport lounge open this Thanksgiving

For many people, Thanksgiving means time with family and friends. That's not always an option for our men and women in uniform.

During the holidays the U.S.O here at Pensacola International Airport is packed with members of the military.  For many of them it will be the first time they've been home in years

"I haven't been home in about a year. I missed the last Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my Birthday."

Airman First Class J.R. Maldonado is going home to Texas. It will be the first time his grandparents get to meet his little girl. It will be her first Thanksgiving with the whole family. Maldonado will be making up for lost time. But by taking this holiday off, tt means he has to work Christmas.
He said "It's rough knowing my kid is home opening presents and I'm stuck here working."
He says when you join the military you realize that missing holidays is part of the job. But as he boards his flight home, plenty are doing the opposite and saying goodbye. Lance Corporal Davin Rogers is spending his last moments with his dad. Rogers will be stationed in Hawaii for two years and boy will he miss his like her "turkducken, stuffing, mac and cheese, sweet yams."

He says when you are in the military, you savor all the family time you get. You never know when you'll have to pack up and go.