Michiana Family Celebrates Christmas with Their Soldier-Son in Mind


Throughout Michiana and across the world, many people are celebrating Christmas alongside family and friends.

But the holiday can also be a tough time for military families who have someone serving overseas.

We sat down with one Granger family, whose son is serving in Iraq with the Marines of South Bend's Company B.

Beneath a Christmas tree decorated in red, white, and blue lights, the gathering looks similar to most families Christmas'.

But this year, the Sickels and York families are missing someone.

Their son and marine, Sergeant Billy Sickels is in the middle of a tour of duty in Iraq.

Mom Melinda says it is a little tough getting used to a quieter Christmas without her son's fun antics.

Melinda said, “He's always been here at Christmas. It's the first time we've had Christmas without him.”

The holiday is also a sad reminder about the loss of Billy’s good friend and fellow marine earlier this year, Corporal Aaron Seal.

Billy's dog, Lily, is just one of the many family members looking forward to his return.

While this Christmas comes and goes, this family now concentrates on the safe return of Billy and all the marines of Company B.

The family says they plan to celebrate Christmas again this spring, complete with a Christmas tree, when Billy returns from Iraq.


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