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822d BDS Airman receives Home for the Holidays award

Photo of an Airman with an award

Airman Alexus Paglinawan, 822d Base Defense Squadron fireteam member, holds a Home for the Holidays certificate Dec. 7, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Paglinawan was the winner of the Home for the Holidays contest this year hosted by the Moody AFB First Sergeant Council. The annual contest will ensure Paglinawan has the funds needed to travel home to Hawaii for the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

Photo of Airmen standing with an award

Airman Alexus Paglinawan, center, 822d Base Defense Squadron fireteam member, and members of Team Moody pose for a photo Dec. 7, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Paglinawan was the winner of the Home for the Holidays contest this year hosted by the Moody AFB First Sergeant Council. The annual contest will ensure Paglinawan has the funds needed to travel home to Hawaii for the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The Moody AFB First Sergeant Council held a Home for the Holidays essay contest Nov. 30, for dorm residents, here.

Airman Alexus Paglinawan, 822d Base Defense Squadron fireteam member, won the contest and was awarded the opportunity to travel home, to Hawaii, for free.

“[In my essay], I spoke from the heart and told my story in hopes that someone would listen, and that’s what happened,” said Paglinawan. “I feel like this opportunity will have Moody Airmen feeling like there is someone looking out for them and helping them [stay] mentally, physically and emotionally ready for the mission.”

In their essay, contestants had to explain why they deserve to win free travel home for the holidays.

“The [essay contest] idea was thought about and voted on as a way to give back to our Airmen,” said Master Sgt. Jesse Lesko, 23d Fighter Group first sergeant. “We know how hard it is to not be with family for the holidays so we are paying for an airline ticket or gas.”

Paglinawan’s essay explained how her family was not able to witness her graduate basic military training earlier this year due to the pandemic, nor was she able to fly back home due to expenses.

“I was overwhelmed with appreciation when I realized that I won the contest,” said Paglinawan. “I felt very honored to be given this opportunity to go back to my family after almost a year [of being separated] … [and] to return even stronger for the year to come.”