Snowball Express serves the children who will never be reunited with their mom or dad.
I thought I saw the most amazing support for our military with my last job, Salute to the Troops. Then Snowball Express came along and totally blew me away! I witnessed whole communities coming out to donate their time, showing their love, support and appreciation for these families and their sacrifice.
Snowball Express remembers those fallen heroes who will never return, and honors the supreme sacrifice their families have made. Since 2006, the mission of Snowball Express has been a simple, yet profoundly important one: Provide hope and new happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11. Snowball Express brings children together from all over the world to the Dallas Fort Worth, Texas area for a four-day experience filled with fun activities.
Windy Schmied and her kids await the arrival of the first families to the DFW airport for the start of Snowball Express 2014.
Families are greeted as they arrive to the DFW airport for the start of Snowball Express.
A young boy shakes the hand of a Patriot Guard Rider (PGR) at the Studio Movie Grill. The Patriot Guard was with the Snowball Express children all weekend providing escort services, mentoring and good old fashion fun. PGR Jean Clark says, "We stand tall and silent to show dignity, honor and respect for those who so proudly stood for us during their lives, and or paid the ultimate sacrifice while providing safety and security for the USA".
Families started their third day off with the "Walk of Gratitude" and balloon release on Main Street, Fort Worth. Families wrote the name of their lost loved one and a message on a balloon before releasing them in their honor.
Summer Robinson gets a shoulder high view as the Snowball families started their day with the "Walk of Gratitude" and balloon release on Main Street, Fort Worth.
6. Mike Smith waves an American flag out of a bus window as the Snowball express families arrive at the Sheriff's Posse Ranch for lunch and a rodeo.
A member of Snowball Express waves an American flag out of his bus window as he arrives at the Sheriff's Posse Ranch for lunch and a rodeo.
The children of Snowball Express wave from their bus window to the community of Weatherford, Texas that came out and lined the streets of their town waving flags and welcoming the families of Snowball as they head to the Sheriff's Posse Ranch for lunch and a rodeo.
Walker Stovall tries not to get tackled during a friendly pickup game after lunch at the Sheriff's Posse Ranch.
A cowboy rides a bronco at a rodeo show for the families of Snowball Express at the Sheriff's Posse Ranch in Weatherford, Texas.
A Trick Rider Cowgirl rides off with her horse after performing a show for the families of Snowball Express at the Sheriff's Posse Ranch in Weatherford, Texas.
Gary Sinise hands out Christmas gifts to the children of Snowball Express after performing with the Lt. Dan Band at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, Texas.
The final day of the Snowball Express 2014 weekend consists of a performance by some of the children in the "Snowball Express Talent Showcase" followed by the closing show to end this year’s event.
Patriot Guard Rider Jean Clark brings in the U.S. American flag for the closing ceremony show of Snowball Express at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Jean is a veteran of the Army, Army Reserve, New Mexico Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard and Air Force from Dec 1975 until August 2009, when he was medically retired.
Jean says, "It fills my heart to help give back some to those who have given so much to everyone else".