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JBSA-Randolph Christmas tree lighting ceremony highlights holiday season

| Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Dec. 11, 2015

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — About 300 members of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph gathered to celebrate the holiday season during the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony Dec. 3 in Washington Circle.

The ceremony showcased the Randolph High School Band and Randolph Elementary School Choir and a selection of classic holiday music before a switch was flipped to illuminate the Christmas tree in Washington Circle.

“Tonight was a great opportunity to remember what we’re grateful for here at JBSA-Randolph,” Col. Matthew Isler, 12th Flying Training Wing commander, said. “We are so grateful for the hardworking members here, the local community that supports our missions and those deployed defending our country. This event also provided the opportunity to support the families separated by deployment during this holiday season.”

For Lt. Col. Daniel Paddock, 435th Fighter Training Squadron instructor pilot, whose children helped flip the switch to light the tree; the JBSA-Randolph Christmas tree lighting ceremony provided the opportunity to experience a sense of community with fellow military members while his wife is deployed.

“This is the first Christmas my wife has not been with our family, but this event was so memorable for us and added some holiday cheer to our lives,” Paddock said.

After the tree was lit, Santa Claus rode into Washington Circle via a 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire engine to take pictures with JBSA-Randolph children in the Clark Rotunda of the Taj, building 100.

“The purpose of this ceremony is to celebrate the holiday season as a community,” Col. Michael Gimbrone, 502nd Security Forces and Logistics Support Group commander, said. “Coming together as a community like this reminds us of the important freedoms we possess, the military members defending those freedoms abroad, and their families separated during the holidays.”

Along with Santa Claus, the highlight of the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph tree lighting ceremony was the beautiful new 36-foot tree located in JBSA-Randolph’s Washington Circle.