FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- When our nation needs help, they call on our soldiers. The same goes for Santa around Christmas time.
Thousands of soldiers lined up at the Pope Army Airfield early Friday morning to make sure all the boys and girls had something to open Christmas morning.
"I have a daughter and she's way too old for hugs and little gifts like that so when she was little I would buy gifts for her like that so it just reminds me of her and I want someone to have that same joy," said Captain Matt Worstell
There's something in it for the troops too. The mission is called Operation Toy Drop.
Soldiers donate toys and in exchange, they get a ticket. If their number is called, they get an item on their Christmas wish list too; foreign jump wings. The coveted wings are given to soldiers who successfully jump into a foreign battlefield.
"I love it just coming down here camping, staying out here till one or two o clock and get that raffle and get lucky.," said one paratrooper.
Sgt Brandon Blair just had back surgery in August. The doctor told him he would never jump again, but Blair was determined to defy the odds and give back.
"Helping kids out, providing toys for kids that are less fortunate," said Sgt. Blair.
Operation Toy Drop collects nearly ten thousand toys every year which are then distributed to area and community non-profits who give them to children in need
Operation Toy Drop lands at Fort Bragg