Soldiers going home for the holidays

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Thousands of soldiers from Fort Jackson, South Carolina are heading home for the holidays today.

A large group of 1,500 soldiers are flying out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

It's called Operation Victory Block Leave. USO volunteers will be on hand to help the soldiers make their way through security, ticket counters and airport concourses. The USO is also preparing a breakfast for the soldiers.

"It's that time of year that the major army bases and military bases around the United States close down during the holidays and let the troops go on home on vacation or what we call leave," said John Falkenbury of the USO of Charlotte. "They're taken care of at the USO North Carolina Center and then get on their way and get home to their loved ones."

Other soldiers from Fort Jackson are flying out of Atlanta and Columbia.

So, if you're headed to the airport this morning, shake a hand of one of the troops down here and thank them for their service.