The holidays can be difficult for service members who are separated from their families during the holidays, and a deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has put 1,400 miles between Marine reservist Gunnery Sgt. William Dixon and his family in Hillsboro this year.
To bridge the gap and engender some Christmas cheer, Dixon’s son, 6-year-old Logan, along with fellow Cub Scouts Bentley Wallace, Avery Mootz and some adult volunteers, sent more than 110 handmade Christmas cards to his father’s Marine unit of military police in Cuba.
“It took us a good two hours, and there were just three little boys and some volunteers, but those three little boys worked very, very hard to get all those Christmas cards out,” said Logan’s mother, Mary Dixon, who has been married to William Dixon for 10 years.
Though the deployment, which began in June, is scheduled to last six months, the exact date of William Dixon’s return is uncertain. “You never know — not with the government,” said Mary.
Dixon has spent 15 years as a Marine so far. The couple was married after he returned from a tour in Iraq. “Deployments aren’t usually as often with reservists, but this one was pushed back a year because of COVID, so he’s gone now,” said Mary. “It’s really hard on the kids. We have two kids, so it’s been hard because this is the first time their daddy has been gone this long.”
The couple also has a 3-year-old daughter named Alexis.
Fortunately, Dixon has internet service in Cuba, so the family is able to keep in touch often.
Still, Logan wishes he could spend the holidays with his father. “He talks about how he wants his daddy to come home for Christmas, which sadly is not going to happen,” said Mary.
Dixon is a member of MP Co C 1st Platoon consisting of about 95 Marines based out of Dayton.
During his time away from the reserve unit, Dixon works as a highway worker for the Highland County Engineers Office.
“I always like to highlight the military because of my husband, not just him, but all of them, especially when they are gone for the holidays,” said Mary.
She said she knows the cards helped bolster the unit’s morale. “They were very appreciative, so I was excited about that,” she said.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.