SAN ANTONIO – The families of fallen service members will be flown out of San Antonio International Airport to Disneyland on Saturday in celebration of the holiday season. 

  • 14 chartered flights from 26 cities
  • 5-day experience for 1,722 children of the fallen and their surviving parent or guardian
  • Gateside reception and presentation of colors

The Gary Sinise Foundation’s ”Snowball Express" program will host a five-day experience for 1,722 children of fallen soldiers and their surviving parent or guardian from across the country.

There will be 14 chartered flights, departing from 26 cities to pick up the “Snowball Express” families.

“Snowball Express” began in 2006, with a letter written by a fallen soldier to his wife, only to be opened if he died in battle. While the letter expressed many things, one wish was that they visit Disneyland. From that letter, ”Snowball Express” was created to bring together the children and surviving spouses of fallen U.S. military heroes for a healing retreat at Disneyland.

In addition, families have direct access to complimentary resources such as counseling services, support for educational scholarships, access to medical and government benefits, financial counseling and assistance, mentoring, and aid for those with special needs or disabilities.

“Snowball Express” will offer various activities and entertainment, including a concert from Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.

The trip is made possible by donors and presenting sponsor American Airlines, which provides air travel, flight crews and hundreds of team member volunteers.

Before departing from San Antonio, families will be sent off with a gateside reception, festivities, games and stockings with a special surprise inside.

San Antonio Patriot Guard Riders will also present a color guard during boarding.