Marines deliver toys with snowmobiles and planes to remote Alaskan villages

The Marines’ motto “Always Faithful” takes on a whole new meaning this Christmas as troops brave wintery and often treacherous conditions to deliver thousands of gifts hundreds of miles away to children in remote Alaskan villages.

Giving Santa a much-needed break, Marines from Delta Company, 4th Law Enforcement Battalion, Marine Forces Reserve, also known as the Alaskan Marines, use snowmobiles and aircraft to support Toys for Tots and making sure the kids have something to open for the holidays.

“Really, that sounds like a lot of trouble, but it’s not,” U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Keith Lowell said, according to KMSP. “To see the sparkle in these children’s eyes when they see Santa Claus walk into their school. When they arrive and receive a gift from Santa Claus, it’s so special.

After the toys are sorted at a base near Anchorage, Marines transport them 500 miles north to the town of Kotzebue, according to the report.

Located 26 miles above the Arctic Circle, Kotzebue is a travel destination for shopping.

Marines, many wearing Santa Claus hats, jackets and pants, use the central hub to then scatter gifts to remote communities, jumping on snowmobiles and braving sub-zero temperatures.

The Toys for Tots program is run by the Marine Corps and a nonprofit foundation. It started in 1947.

In total, the program delivers 18 million toys each year to 7 million underprivileged children.

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