American Military News by Tracey Porpora - Staten Island Advance November 26, 2020
Last year, U.S. Navy Chief Grant Khanbalinov, who grew up in the Grant City neighborhood of Staten Island, New York, helped raise money to send three junior sailors home for the holidays.
This year, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Khanbalinov said it was more important than ever to raise funding â€” so he teamed up with a not-for-profit, Holidays For The Heroes, and raised enough money to allow 65 military members to return home to see their families this holiday season.
â€œThis year during the coronavirus pandemic a lot of people arenâ€™t traveling, and we are all working in a completely different environment than we have ever worked in, so itâ€™s more important than ever for them to see their family for the holidays,â€ said Khanbalinov.
â€œA lot of [U.S. Military membersâ€™] spouses lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, so money is tight for everyone. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to help them out,â€ he added.
Many times, active members of the U.S. Military canâ€™t see their loved ones for the holidays because the cost of an airplane ticket is too expensive.