OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. --
Christmas came early this year for one Tinker family when the Oklahoma City Veteran Experience Team with the Department of Veteran Affairs Health Care System honored a family with a deployed member with a holiday celebration on Dec. 19 at the OKC-VAHCS.
Rebecca and Bella Gunner, the family of Staff Sgt. Joshua Gunner of the 552nd Air Control Wing Maintenance Squadron, were this year’s honorees.
“We are grateful for this event and the chance to honor my husband and the other deployed individuals during the holidays,” said Gunner’s wife, Rebecca. “This is a wonderful surprise for my daughter and I during my husband’s time overseas.”
Members of the 552nd ACW were in attendance when Gunner’s wife and daughter were provided a certificate of recognition and gifts for the holiday season while Gunner is deployed.
This event, Remember Everyone Deployed, otherwise known as the Red campaign, was introduced by OKC-VAHCS this holiday season to bring awareness to those deployed and their family members back home.
The RED campaign began back in October when OKC-VAHCS employees were allowed to purchase Remember Everyone Deployed: Until Everyone Comes Home t-shirts. Employees were allowed to wear these shirts every Friday to help promote the RED campaign. All proceeds were used to buy holiday presents for one deployed member’s family from the local community.
“We are the first VA-HCS nationwide to have this event,” said Tammie Mayfield, the Veteran Experience Specialist at OKC-VAHCS. “We wanted to engage with the community and give back to the families who are deployed over the holiday season”