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Santa Jets to McEntire to visit Swamp Fox Children

Swamp Fox Airmen and their families welcome the arrival of Santa Claus at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Dec. 5, 2015.  Follow Santa as he travels the globe by visiting www.noradsanta.org.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st First Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Swamp Fox Airmen and their families welcome the arrival of Santa Claus at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Dec. 5, 2015. Follow Santa as he travels the globe by visiting www.noradsanta.org. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st First Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Swamp Fox Airmen and their families welcome the arrival of Santa Claus at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Dec. 5, 2015.  Follow Santa as he travels the globe by visiting www.noradsanta.org.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st First Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Swamp Fox Airmen and their families welcome the arrival of Santa Claus at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Dec. 5, 2015. Follow Santa as he travels the globe by visiting www.noradsanta.org. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st First Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Swamp Fox Airmen and their families welcome the arrival of Santa Claus at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Dec. 5, 2015.  Follow Santa as he travels the globe by visiting www.noradsanta.org.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

Swamp Fox Airmen and their families welcome the arrival of Santa Claus at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Dec. 5, 2015. Follow Santa as he travels the globe by visiting www.noradsanta.org. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Several hundred family members of South Carolina Air National Guardsmen gathered to greet Santa at the flight line in a Swamp Fox F-16 Fighting Falcon here, Dec. 5.

"Santa told us that our Swamp Fox children have been very good this year, and he has a special spot in his heart for the children of those who stand in service of the this great nation," said Lt. Col. Akshai M. Gandhi, a pilot assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron.

1st Lt. Cody May, a pilot assigned the fighter squadron here, flew to the North Pole Saturday to bring Santa here to spread joy to all of the 169th Fighter Wing families.

"The flight up to the North Pole was cold and snowy, and I had to be careful to dodge many reindeer to get to Santa," said May.  "The flight was difficult, but it was worth it to see the smiling faces of all the children as we taxied up the runway."

Children lined up for almost two hours to sit on Santa's knee and were excited to receive candy and to tell him their Christmas list wishes. 

Santa understands the sacrifices parents make when serving on military duty at home or abroad, commented Gandhi.

"I could not wait to come to McEntire to visit Swamp Fox families," said Santa.  "Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas to all of the wonderful boys and girls here!"

If children would like to keep track of Santa's journey this Christmas Eve, parents can log into North American Aerospace Defense Command's website at www.noradsanta.org.