Share Share
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/1f9War.St.138.jpeg|428
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Army private Brad Velasquez watches television in the USO Charlotte lounge while waiting for his flight home Thursday morning. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/EIRsX.St.138.jpeg|386
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Army private Caitlin Fluman catches a few winks while waiting for her flight home Thursday morning. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/1pmVLG.St.138.jpeg|420
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/dAHIb.St.138.jpeg|525
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    The rising sun shines on Army private Brennon O'Connor as he's approached by the Panthers mascot Sir Purr (left) at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Thursday morning. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/1ddZKu.St.138.jpeg|525
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    The rising sun shines on Army private Brennon O'Connor as the Stars & Stripes are framed by his glasses at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Thursday morning. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/jxWXl.St.138.jpeg|413
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Army private Cristina Castaneda (left foreground) and Army specialist Quanisha Turner wait in the airport auditorium before their flight back home to Sacramento, Ca. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/1db7SD.St.138.jpeg|525
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Soldiers could be seen throughout Charlotte Douglas International Airport on thursday. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/fUMA3.St.138.jpeg|416
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    (from left) Army privates Brandon Mitchell, Lawrence Depew (glasses) and Army specialist Richard Williams take a knee waiting to be processed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Thursday morning for flights home to see their families. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/1r5xgY.St.138.jpeg|413
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Katrina Rodriguez, an Army private, is surprising her mother April Callahan with a visit home to Casa Grande, Arizona over the holidays. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/mGjru.St.138.jpeg|413
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Army private Tirso Nunez talks on the phone while waiting for his flight home thursday morning. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/1c9S5y.St.138.jpeg|414
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/9Z1tv.St.138.jpeg|525
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Army private Brandon Mitchell listens to instructions about from drill instructors at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Thursday morning. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/1ejNMK.St.138.jpeg|407
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Army private Mariah Roberts texts her mother while waiting on her flight home Thursday morning. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/ogNRA.St.138.jpeg|395
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/12/16/aMVA6.St.138.jpeg|411
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. They arrive by bus to the Charlotte-Douglas airport early Thursday December 19, 2013 and then fly to hometowns across the country. It's called Operation Exodus, and volunteers with the USOÕs Charlotte office make sure theyÕre taken care of while theyÕre at the airport.
Loading in additional galleries
CharlotteObserver.com