Family of wounded veteran surprised with holiday decorations for first Christmas back home
The Colorado family of a wounded Army veteran had their holiday wish come true thanks to the help of a group that decorates the homes of military families for Christmas.
Lucas Oppelt lost a leg after stepping on an IED in 2012. He spent the next three years at Water Reed Medical Center outside Washington and this year was the family's first Christmas all together in Colorado Springs.
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"The question came about: Who's gonna be putting the lights up," said Lucas's wife Amy said in video from Hooplaha. "He said, 'I can't do it.'"
Undaunted, Amy reached out to the Decorated Family Program, which has been boosting the spirits of military families across the country for 13 years now by decorating their homes for the holidays.
While the family of four was out for the day, a crew showed up to grant the family their simple wish.
When the family came home, it was festooned with over 1,000 lights and a few inflatable Disney characters for the kids
"As I was driving up to the house, I was thinking 'There's no way this could be my house,'" said Lucas. "My kids' reactions to the lights was amazing."
To those who wonder if Christmas decor is among the more important things a family in the midst of healing might need, Amy said, "It is because we finally get to celebrate like a normal family again."
Christmas Decor, which calls itself the nation's leading professional holiday and event decorating franchise, began the Decorated Family Program in 2003 after a franchisee attended a holiday dinner party and began to consider all of the men and women overseas who will not be able to celebrate with those they love, according to a company release.
Each holiday season, hundreds of Christmas Decor franchisees participate in this event by donating their products, resources and time to decorate the homes of local military families with lights, garland, ornaments and other trimmings as part of the Decorated Family Program.