By Bonnie Petrie, NewsRadio 1080 KRLD & Stephanie Lucero, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Snowball Express is in town!  Over 1,000 spouses and children of fallen service members are  in North Texas for a five day free vacation.

They arrived at DFW International Airport Thursday on eight charter flights designed especially for them. They are the family of military servicemen and women killed in the line of duty.

“This is one of the best things my kids look forward to throughout the whole year” says Dody Callahan, who arrived on a flight from Lafayette, North Carolina. “We just survive, waiting for our Snow Ball trips” she says.

The Snow Ball Express is an organization that donates fun trips for the families of servicemen and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Groups of volunteers cheered the families as they entered the baggage section in Terminal C.  Volunteers took care of their luggage and will help facilitate all the activities that are plannned.

“I almost broke down getting off the airplane because I’ve never gotten this before” says Cattina Kentcy, who brought her 13-year-old daughter with her.

The families will get to jam to Gary Sinise’s ‘Lieutenant Dan Band’ after his character in the film Forrest Gump.  They’ll enjoy the rodeo in Mesquite, a production of The Nutcracker Suite, they’ll go to Six Flags and Southfork Ranch.  Ventriloquist Terry Fator will also perform for them.  Fator is a winner of America’s Got Talent and Las Vegas Headliner at The Mirage Resort and Casino.

Listen To Gary Sinise Talk About The Snowball Express:

The closing dinner for the families will be held Sunday evening.   For more information on the Snowball Express, check out their website

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