One Last Stop: "Operation Christmas" Surprises Atlanta Military Family with a Wal-Mart Truck Full of Gifts

Lithonia, GA, December 22, 2006 – Four days before Christmas Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. added a final, unexpected stop to "Operation Christmas," a program created for military families through a partnership with Operation Homefront and America Supports You. Yesterday, a more than deserving family in Lithonia, Georgia received a heartfelt Christmas surprise.


Earlier this year, National Guardsman Russell Fairchild received a devastating call while serving his country in Iraq. His wife of 16 years announced that she was leaving him and their 11 children, ranging in age from 2-years-old to 18-years-old. Since then, Fairchild has been working hard as a mail carrier to starve off foreclosure on his home and keep his family together.

Until yesterday, gifts for Christmas weren’t even going to be an option. Fairchild and his children couldn’t contain their excitement as they watched Wal-Mart associates, Operation Homefront volunteers and Sgt. Fairchild’s National Guard unit unload a Wal-Mart semi truck full of electronics, furniture and toys for the family.

Gifts included something for everyone in the Fairchild family – 20" Philips flat screen TV, Xbox 360, Kodak EasyShare camera and printer, Memorex Karoake Machine, Ipod mini, Sony PSP, T.M.X. Elmo and more. In addition, the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Foundation presented Sgt. Fairchild with a $500 gift card, redeemable at any Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club location nationwide, to help with any other holiday needs. 

The donation to the Fairchild family capped off an already successful program. "Operation Christmas" helped brighten the Christmas season for military families throughout the months of November and December, visiting six bases across the United States and donating approximately $500,000 in merchandise and gift cards.