Operation Camouflage Christmas

Posted at 7:01 PM, Dec 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-21 21:01:47-05
Nearly 500 gifts were placed around the Christmas tree at the Idaho State Veterans Home today.
It's called Operation Camouflage Christmas.
Military members from Gowen Field use money out of their own pockets to give back to those that have served before them. 
"We are so blessed that we have them come and do this," said Phil Hawkins the volunteer coordinator for the Idaho State Veterans Home.
In July, the military has the veteran start making their Christmas lists.
They spend half of a year getting everything ready and wrapped to be delivered.
Whatever they requested they will get. Its pretty special," said Hawkins.
"They brought me a refrigerator last year, and I have been really using it everyday. I am sure glad that they brought it. Nobody around here can afford something like that," said U.S Army veteran Ron Dashiell.
It's a Christmas tradition of more than 20 years now, and the veterans are very thankful for it.
"It makes me proud. It makes me feel really good and I am sure that it makes all of the others feel good," said Dashiell.
But the troops don't just stop at giving the gifts.
 Many of them take the time out of their days to sit and visit with the veterans and hear their stories.
Some even help open the gifts.
"You see all these folks in their uniform. It makes our veterans proud that they do this," said Hawkins.
"I'll be proud to open them. Actually they have the young marines come in and open them for us because I only have one arm and one leg, so it makes it hard to do anything," said Dashiell.
The veterans say the acts of kindness from Gowen Field help make it feel a little more like being home for the holidays.
"When I see these guys, it makes me think of my son in which I am really proud of," said Dashiell.