Guam National Guard brings joy during the holidays

From left, Command Chief Master Sgt. Santa Claus, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, First Gentleman Jeff Cook, and Maj. Gen. (GU) Esther Aguigui, adjutant general, greet families of the Guam Air National Guard at a holiday gift drive-thru on Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo on Dec. 12. The event, which included a 384th National Guard birthday celebration, was held during the Guam National Guard's drill weekend. (Photo courtesy of GUNG)

Smiles and joy were spotted on Guam just in time for the holiday season as Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, Maj. Gen (GU) Esther Aguigui, adjutant general, and Santa Claus himself made appearances at Guam National Guard holiday events.

Beginning with a holiday lighting ceremony and gift drive-thru event, the Guam Air National Guard’s 254th Air Base Group kicked off the celebration.

Technical Sgt. Sheleena Cruz, Family Programs Coordinator for the ABG, was the lead planner of the event.

“We were trying to think of something safe for the kids to do, because we couldn’t do our normal holiday meal due to COVID-19,” said Cruz. “But it’s okay because all the units came together to start a new tradition. It’s just overwhelming – all of the support that we got.”

Then, it was the Army’s turn with a 384th National Guard birthday cake-cutting ceremony, and holiday meal grab-and-go for the troops. These events were also attended by the governor and adjutant general.

“The message is hope,” said Cruz. “Although we’re going through crazy times, we can adapt, and change can be good. All we want is for the kids and families to leave here feeling a sense of hope.”