FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Three United States servicemen will spend the holidays with their families, thanks to the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA), WANE 15, and an anonymous donor.
FWACAA and WANE 15 asked local military families to submit a short essay highlighting why their serviceman or woman deserved to be brought home for the holidays.
Two members of the military were initially selected from the entries - Gage Phillips and Daniel Hockenberry.
Phillips is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps and is stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii. Because of plane ticket prices, Phillips hasn't been able to come home for quite some time.
His grandfather, a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran himself, is currently on dialysis and needs a kidney transplant. He is extremely excited to see Phillips again.
Phillips will arrive at Fort Wayne International Airport on Saturday.
Hockenberry has served in the United States Air Force for more than 20 years. He just finished a deployment in Japan and hasn't been able to come home in four years.
Hockenberry will land in Fort Wayne on Wednesday, December 26 to ring in the New Year with his mother, who entered him into the contest.
In a special change of plans, a third service member was also added to the list.
After seeing WANE 15 and FWACAA promote the "Home for the Holidays" contest, a viewer decided he wanted to get involved. The anonymous resident donated enough money to bring home an additional serviceman who will fly in ahead of Christmas.
That man is Spencer Myers. Myers is serving in the United States Army and is flying home Thursday morning.
Myers recently proposed to his girlfriend, who is pregnant with their first child together. While he's in the area, the two of them plan on getting married in a small ceremony.
Myers will then be deployed in January, but he's not sure where he will be sent, or for how long. That's one more reason he and his family plan on making the most of his visit.
“I would like to thank [the donor] for your generosity, to care about my young soldier and all
soldiers who give all they have to protect each and every one of us,” said Kathy Cooper,
grandmother of Spencer Myers. “[My grandson] is able to come home and will be marrying the
love of his life while he is home for Christmas. Saying thank you seems like so little, but it truly
comes from my heart.”
WANE 15 will have extensive coverage of each service member's homecoming. You can also see updates on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.