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I think all of us on here have spent our share of Christmas's away from the family. One that sticks in my mind was in 1984, before they had the proliferation of EMS helicopters. I was stationed at New River, N.C. and was at HMH-362. I was not married at the time, had just finished going through a bad divorce, and I volunteered to take what was called at the time Med Evac duty.It freed up the married crew chief's so they could go home on leave. We would get calls from the Camp Lejune hospital and surrounding hospitals to pick up and transport critical patients or accident victims. We would usually have to transport them to Duke Medical Center or the UNC Medical Center's Burn unit in Chapel Hill, N.C. We got a call at 2000 on Christmas Eve, we had to go to Wilmington, N.C. to pick up two accident victims, a mother and her daughter that had been in a bad accident. It was very cold, we picked up the patients and two nurses, an EMT and a doctor. We could do that in a CH-53D, just had to have a parking lot to land in. To make a long story short, we land at UNC Medical at 2300 dropped the patients off and started back to New River, my pilot wanted to stop and get fuel at Raleigh/Durham, just in case we ran into weather (there was a chance of snow)or had another call. While flying he had the ADF radio on, (a high power AM radio) he got a station playing Christmas music. They played Silent night when we landed to get fuel. We headed back to New River and when we got in touch with McCutcheon Field around 0200, I will always remember the radio call "Welcome home Yankee Lima One Five, and Merry Christmas to you and your crew" It has been something that has stuck in my mind over the years.

So Merry Christmas to everyone, especially those that have to stand duty, who are on call, are stationed over seas and aboard ships.
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