Families of Fallen Heroes Treated to Trip to Disney World - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Families of Fallen Heroes Treated to Trip to Disney World

The Gary Sinise Foundation is behind the five-day trip

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    Families of Fallen Heroes Treated to Trip to Disney World

    The Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express program will host a five-day vacation for 1,722 children of the fallen, including their surviving parent or guardian. (Published Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018)

    Christmas is coming early for some North Texas families who boarded the Snowball Express on Saturday.

    The Gold Star families will enjoy a week-long, all-expenses paid trip to Disney World in Orlando.

    The families received a unique send-off at DFW Airport.

    From high-five's from superheros, to pictures with polar bears and a drum line with cheerleaders, the families received the red carpet treatment.

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    Amanda Alexander, of Lawton, Oklahoma is taking her mom and three kids.

    Her husband Toby Alexander was killed in Afghanistan six years ago.

    "He had only been there a couple of days, so you're not thinking the worst is going to happen, but it did," Alexander said.

    Families flew in from all over the country to depart from DFW -- strangers with one thing in common.

    "Just even knowing that there's this many families that have lost, that's just heartbreaking," said Kerry Pierce of Crowley. Her brother, an active service member in the Navy, committed suicide last year.

    Allison Ready, 14, is from Mississippi.

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    Her dad, Jesse Ready, Jr., a lieutenant in the Navy, died from cancer three years ago.

    "I couldn't even break down because I had to be there for my mom to help rebuild her so I had to mature very quickly at such a young age," Ready said.

    A trip to Disney with her mom, she said, would give her a chance to be a kid again.

    "There is actually hope in this world," Ready said.

    Families brought together by the saddest of circumstances are headed to the happiest place on earth.

    The Gary Sinise Foundation is the organization behind the Snowball Express program.

    Fort Worth-based American Airlines is a sponsor.

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