soldier xmas 1 Christmas In June For Returning Plano Soldier

A Christmas in June celebration for Spc. Cameron Kistler in Plano. (CBSDFW.COM)

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – A Plano family, along with their entire neighborhood, is celebrating. Unlike most North Texans, it’s not just because of the Mavericks win – they’re celebrating Christmas.

You might think a holiday celebration is about six months late, but for one local hero, just back from Iraq, it’s perfect timing.

It’s not that the season’s greetings got mixed up; it’s the chance for a returning serviceman to celebrate a holiday missed.

“The first things I saw were the flags and I thought those were nice and then the Christmas things started showing up and I thought, wow, this is a nice thing they did,” said Spc. Cameron Kistler recalling his first sight of the decorations at his family home.

Spc. Kistler spent 400 days in Iraq’s Basra region, so on his return to North Texas the whole neighborhood decided to throw a Christmas party — in June.

“So we just put a notice on their door and they jumped at the idea of doing this,” Cameron’s sister, Samantha Kistler, said of the neighborhood response.

Spc. Kistler is just finishing three years in the Army, but he’s not done with the military. Next month he enrolls in a prep school for the U.S. Air Force Academy.

But for now, the Kistler family’s son is simply home from the war and they are rejoicing. His mother, Nancy Kistler, explained the return from the perspective of one who worried about her ‘little boy’. “And you’ve blocked it [the dangers of combat] out for a year and now he’s home, and he’s safe, no injuries, and he’s matured so much. It’s awesome!”

A cause for celebration… like Christmas itself.

Just a footnote — military service runs in the Kistler family. Cameron’s older sister is a 2010 graduate of the Air Force Academy.