Santas in Blue 2017

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Santa Claus arrives with Col. Chad Balettie, 355th Fighter Wing vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Joshua Hurt, 355th Maintenance Group superintendent, by helicopter to San Xavier Misson School in Tucson, Ariz., Dec. 13, 2017. Each year, Airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., visit schools on the Tohono O'odham Nation Indian Reservation to donate toys to the children through the Santas in Blue program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Giovanni Sims)

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Santa Claus greets students at the San Xavier Mission School in Tucson, Ariz., Dec. 13, 2017. Through the Santas in Blue program, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Airmen have been donating toys to the children on the Tohono O'odham Nation Indian Reservation for the past 52 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Giovanni Sims)

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A student from the San Xavier Mission School receives an early Christmas gift from Santa Claus Dec. 13, 2017. Airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., sponsor children on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation by giving them an item from their Christmas list through the Santas in Blue program.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Giovanni Sims)

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Second grade students from the San Xavier Mission School in Tucson, Ariz. give Santa Clause thank you cards Dec. 13, 2017. Santa, along with volunteers form Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., donated toys to children on the Tohono O'odham Nation Indian Reservation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Giovanni Sims)

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Students at San Xavier Mission School open their presents from Santa Claus Dec. 13, 2017. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base's Santas in Blue program also donated toys to children at Santa Rosa Day School, Santa Rosa Ranch School, San Simon and Indian Oasis Primary Campus in Sells, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Giovanni Sims)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE Ariz. -- TUCSON, Ariz., -- Volunteers from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base donated gifts to children from the Tohono O’odham Nation Indian Reservation through the annual Santas in Blue program.

This year, over 100 children from pre-K to 12th grade, were grinning from ear-to-ear when Santa Claus showed up at San Xavier Mission School making their Christmas wishes a reality.

“Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces truly warms the heart,” said Col. Chad Balettie, 355th Fighter Wing vice commander. “It shows what the holidays are all about – giving.”

The schools had each child create a wish list of two or three items they would like Santa to bring them and every year since 1965, the Desert Lightning Team has sponsored a child by fulfilling their requests.

“This is our way of giving back to the community,” said Master Sgt. Travis Merriman this year’s Santas in Blue coordinator. “The Air Force as a whole is reaching out to the community and being a part of their lives.”

D-M’s Santas in Blue program also donated toys to children at Santa Rosa Day School, Santa Rosa Ranch School, San Simon and Indian Oasis Primary Campus in Sells, Ariz.