Military family gets brighter holiday
By: Katie Delaune - firstname.lastname@example.org
LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB Fox41) -- During the holidays, there's always the one house on the block that stands out.
"Oh my gosh, look at the tree," says Michelle Tongate as she watches 2,000 red and white lights illuminate it's bare branches and trunk. An additional 1,500 Christmas lights cover their home on Bluff View Circle, capturing the attention of curious neighbors.
"It's pretty cool isn't it," says Michelle to one neighbor who drove up the street in her van.
But this home all aglow almost stayed dark for the holidays. "Just shopping, getting everything done and along with the decorating is all put on my shoulders," says the military wife.
Master Sgt. James Tongate is on his 3rd deployment to Afghanistan, but it's the first during Christmas. The 7,000 mile distance put a dent in the Tongate's Christmas cheer until 10-year-old Caleb had one simple request.
"He just wanted to know when we were going to get the lights outside," says Michelle.
"Just wanted to be like everyone else," says Caleb, "and look good."
But Michelle knew if she strung lights, she would break a promise to her husband.
"Because he made me promise him I would not climb on the roof even try to go up on something like that just for safety reasons," says Michelle.
So Christmas Decor stepped in, with step up ladders and all, and helped brighten the Tongate's holidays
"The father normally is the guy out there on the roof putting the lights up. Since he's going to be gone, we wanted to be able to step in and put those lights up for him," says Christmas Decor owner Adam Neville.
Since Master Sgt. Tongate couldn't be there, there are signs of him everywhere. Patriotic ribbons are wrapped around columns and the lights are not just green but red, white, and blue.
"Do you think when dad flies in, he'll see it from the sky?" asks Michelle to Caleb and older son Noah.
"Oh he (James) would love it because I think he's more got the kid in him than any of us."
Master Sgt. Tongate is expected to return home early January. Christmas Decor says they'll keep this house decorated so he can see it in person.