Fayetteville, N.C. — Dozens of military families hopped aboard the annual Snowball Express flight from Fayetteville to Dallas on Friday.
The children share something tragic and heroic in common – each has lost a parent who served in the military.
"You get away for a while, and you get to be with kids who know how you feel," said Leah Andrews, the daughter of a fallen airman. "They know how it is, so it's a common bond that we share."
"It's not a normal that we're used to – it's a new normal," said Amy Dozier, the widow of a fallen soldier. "Even five years out, it's still new. Every day is new (with) new challenges that we face."
American Airlines provides the planes for the Snowball Express, which is in its seventh year, and the pilots and crew donate their time to fly the families to Dallas for a week of holiday fun.
About 1,700 families nationwide are participating this year, including 130 people in the Fayetteville area. While in Dallas, the children will enjoy concerts and a trip to the Six Flags amusement park.