Chicago service members help Survivor Outreach Program with Snowball Express send off
Army Reserve, Navy and Marine Corps members from the greater Chicago area arrived to send off the families participating in the Snowball Express, minus the actual snow, on Dec. 12. The program is sponsored by American Airlines, coordinating flights from 84 cities via nearly 60 chartered and commercial flights. The Snowball Express is a nonprofit organization established in 2006, providing an all-expenses-paid trip to families across the United States with a mission of bringing hope and new memories to the children of military heroes who have died while on active duty since Sep. 11, 2001. This year marks the 10th annual celebration, 13 Gold Star families from Northern Illinois were on this flight to Dallas for a weekend getaway of festivities and a memorial service for those family members that have been lost. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Carrie A Castillo)