Santa gives special visit to veteran’s loved ones at Carmel VFW

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CARMEL, Ind. (December 13, 2015) — Dozens of children and grandchildren of Hoosier Hereos got a special visit from Santa Sunday at the Carmel VFW Post 10003.

“I think it’s fun for the kids to see Santa Clause before Christmas and get an early present," Addie Smith, 9, a granddaughter of a veteran, said after she got her gift. "(Santa) comes down the street and all the kids get excited, and then he comes out in the fire truck and it’s really fun to see that.”

The Carmel Fire Department assisted Santa with his grand entrance. Santa then gave more than 30 children at the event a personalized present.

“It’s so cute and they wait and they wait," Eve Smith, Addie Smith's mother. said. "Their little faces just light up when he turned that corner... It’s so cute. They love it.”

The post, like many around the country, is working to get more active members. Currently, it has 545 members, but only about 100 are active, Post Commander Richard Leirer said.

“We really want to attract younger members. They have been through a lot and we want to help them," Carmel VFW Post 1003 Trustee Tom Blandford said.

Blandford said he hopes events like today let veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan realize what the post has to offer them and their families.

“You go to war and you come back differently. It does change you," he said. "Mostly for the good. Sometimes for the bad and we want to help those vets get through the bad parts so they can enjoy life more.”

If you or a loved one is interested in getting involved in the Carmel VFW give them a call at 317-846-0917.