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US Marines Deliver Toys to Kona Salvation Army for Holiday

December 24, 2019, 7:30 AM HST
* Updated December 24, 6:46 AM
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Kona’s Salvation Army got a special delivery of toys this year, but it wasn’t from a jolly man in a red suit.

On Dec. 18, The US Marine Marines stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i, Kaneohe Bay spanned the ocean and delivered thousands of toys to Kona for Toys for Tots, with the help of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (VMM-268), Marine Aircraft Group 24.

“Santa Claus isn’t a fat man in a red suit on a sleigh. He’s a Marine in an MV-22,” joked U.S. Marine, 1st Sgt. Jeremy Bland, 4th Force Reconnaissance Company.

With the support of Hawaiian residents, Bland along with reservists Staff Sgt. Michael Wong, Sgt. David Holt, and Sgt. Nikita Klochko, also with 4th Force Recon. Co., collected over 2,600 toys to be delivered to Kona.

The Salvation Army located in Kona was struggling to get toys to support all of the families in need so when Bland reached out, they were happy to accept.

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Upon arrival to Kona, Salvation Army volunteer Bill Lawrence exclaimed, “The Marines came through. Big time.”

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Lawrence and his family were very happy to have the delivery and were excited to share the toys with the families on the Island of Hawaii.

Flight lead co-pilot, Capt. Casey Funk, pilot, VMM-268, MAG-24 was happy to assist in the delivery of the toys stating, “This is the kind of work that we love to do.”

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