Santa's elves deliver Christmas gift care packages to Fort Bragg military spouses as a 'thank you' for sacrifice

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- With three weeks until Christmas, the Support Military Spouses foundation called Santa and his elves in early for a special favor for some Fort Bragg families.

On Friday morning in the parking lot of McDonald's along Bragg Boulevard, Santa's elves were spotted in action directing military spouses like Amber Pulido to the toys and gifts they made for brave military families like hers in Santa's workshop days ago.

"These things here make it all worth it," Pulido referencing the sacrifice her family and so many other military families often make.

Her husband, Staff Sergeant Pulido, deployed overseas in June and is slated to return sometime next year. His deployment leaving her to raise their three boys for the past six months.

"I'm ready for him to come home. He tries to call every day. If they don't get to kiss the phone before he gets off it's a whole meltdown situation," Pulido said.

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The yearly event looked a bit different this year, with COVID-19 restrictions in place: no crowd, Christmas festivities canceled, and the lighting ceremony being broadcast virtually.

A total of 80 military families received these gifts at two McDonald's locations in the Sandhills -- all in a safe fashion during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's a drive-thru- contactless effort to keep everyone safe.

John Parker runs the McDonald's location along with six others in Fayetteville. He was thrilled to play host and offer up staff for such a cause. He told ABC11 he is simply amazed at the strength of military families.
"We know whose back home holding down the fort. I can't imagine being a spouse in this environment while my spouse was overseas fighting for my freedom," said Parker.

While Pulido and her three sons won't get to spend this Christmas with their soldier she says efforts like this show appreciation for the sacrifices military families make.

"I miss him a lot. I really do," said Pulido.
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