Glendale airman's family gets Christmas wish granted

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PHOENIX -- A Glendale family received an early Christmas present Monday. Their son – Airman 1st Class Eric Dudley – made a last-minute trip home for the holidays.

Dudley, who’s currently stationed in Illinois, couldn't afford a ticket home for Christmas. That's when the non-profit group "Let's Bring Em Home" stepped in.

“This is an organization that collects donations from people, and brings GIs from all over the world home for Christmas," explained Dudley's father, Robert Hicks.

“If it wasn't for this program, I would not be coming home this Christmas," Dudley said.

“He didn't know until a week ago today that he actually was on the list, because they were short of money," Hicks said. "They were $10,000 short two weeks ago, and slowly but surely people continued to donate. So they came up with enough cash and cleared it and Monday he was told officially that he was going."

The airman hopes his story will inspire others to donate so that more troops can make it home in time for Christmas.

“I think it's really great that a lot of people have donated money to bring home the military," Dudley said, "and I personally know that, when I get back to my duty station, I also am going to donate to this charity."

"It might be the last time we see him before he goes off to Afghanistan, or wherever," Hicks added. "This will be a nice Christmas, and hopefully we see him next Christmas also."

Click here for more information on Let's Bring Em Home.