December 9, 2006 -- Posted at 7:21 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- "It's a time for celebration. It's a time for Christmas, but it's also a time to not forget that a big part of us is missing... a big part of us is not at home. That closeness and that family is a little bit fractured right now," said Margarett Jordan.
Saturday a portion of the families of soldiers with the 875th Engineer Battalion gathered as a family to celebrate Christmas.
"It means a lot, especially not having our soldier here with us," said Mendy Thomas.
Sherrie Frank and her two children are just one of the families getting ready to celebrate Christmas without dad.
"With my husband gone, their dad gone, it's really hard to get together with other people who are going through the same thing. This gives us the chance to get together with others who are going through what we're going through," said Sherrie Frank.
In time this group is becoming a family.
"We are growing more and more to be our own family. We are growing to depend on each other and memorize each others phone numbers...we know we can call each other anytime," said Jordan.
"Some of us do have family around and some of us don't. For the ones' that don't everybody here is family," said Thomas.
Just like a traditional Christmas celebration presents are being handed out to the children of soldiers with the 875th.
Some of the gifts were donated and purchased, but the primary gifts were brought by the parents so that every child would get a gift.
"No kid's going to turn down a present, so any time they get anything free they love it. It takes their mind off their dad being gone and I'm doing everything in my power to make this be a good Christmas without dad," said Frank.