Veterans and their families get a true taste of the holiday spirit

By Nikolas Samuels

Last update: Saturday, December 17th, 2016

For three and a half years while in the army, Miguel Delcid had a different holiday experience than most of the United States. A sense of relaxation and family time is not a part of the holiday spirit in the military. Any moment, these soldiers can be called to action, whether it is Christmas or not.

“You can take a leave but it’s not the same,” said Delcid.

In fact, he deployed on Christmas day, 2007 to Tennessee and found himself in Afghanistan before the New Year.

Bridget Mills holds up A Night Before Christmas in the Military, which was given out at the Holiday Family Party at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Bridgett Mills holds up A Night Before Christmas in the Military, which was given out at the Family Holiday Party at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

All of that has changed now that Delcid is home and living in a community of veterans that was built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys. He just moved in this year and for the first time, has his own home to decorate a Christmas tree in.

“I’ve never really did something like that before,” said Delcid.

And Habitat for Humanity is making sure the veterans get a real taste of the holiday spirit.

From left to right, MJ Talentino, 4, Josette Talentino and Rinnah Talentino, 12, do arts and crafts at the Holiday Family Party at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
From left to right, MJ Talentino, 4, Josette Talentino and Rinnah Talentino, 12, do arts and crafts at the Family Holiday Party at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Delcid and 77 other veterans and their families were invited to celebrate the Family Holiday Party on Saturday at the neighborhood Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV is building for them in Santa Clarita off of Centre Pointe Parkway. Fifty-four of those veterans have already moved in while homes are still being built for the remaining 24.

“This is an opportunity for them to come together in a party atmosphere and also supplement a little help for Santa,” said Donna Deutchman, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV.

There was a wide array of activities at the party such as arts and crafts, carnival games, a jolly jumper and even presents to give out to the kids. Most of the presents were supplied by a marine branch of Toys and Tots while community

From right to left, Lindsey Smith, 10, and Karla Valle deliver presents to the veteran neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity SFV/SCV during the Holiday Family Party in Santa Clarita. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
From right to left, Lindsey Smith, 10, and Karla Valle deliver presents to the veteran neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV during the Family Holiday Party in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

members also lent a hand by donating some gifts.

And veterans, such as Nicholas Vannoy, were grateful to be celebrating the holidays the way they were meant to be celebrated.

“I guess that is the American Dream, being able to do something like this for my kids,” he said.

As the holiday party was going on, volunteers were working on completing the last of the houses in the neighborhood so that that the remaining 24 veterans can move in by next year’s holiday season.

nsamuels@signalscv.com

Franck Nataf, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, helps to build the remaining homes in the neighborhood off of Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita that is being built as a veteran community. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Franck Nataf, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, helps to build the remaining homes on Saturday in the neighborhood off of Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita that is being built as a veteran community. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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Veterans and their families get a true taste of the holiday spirit

Valentina Sirri, 1, gets a prize after catching a faux fish while ice fishing at the Family Holiday Party on Saturday at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

For three and a half years while in the army, Miguel Delcid had a different holiday experience than most of the United States. A sense of relaxation and family time is not a part of the holiday spirit in the military. Any moment, these soldiers can be called to action, whether it is Christmas or not.

“You can take a leave but it’s not the same,” said Delcid.

In fact, he deployed on Christmas day, 2007 to Tennessee and found himself in Afghanistan before the New Year.

Bridget Mills holds up A Night Before Christmas in the Military, which was given out at the Holiday Family Party at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Bridgett Mills holds up A Night Before Christmas in the Military, which was given out at the Family Holiday Party at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

All of that has changed now that Delcid is home and living in a community of veterans that was built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys. He just moved in this year and for the first time, has his own home to decorate a Christmas tree in.

“I’ve never really did something like that before,” said Delcid.

And Habitat for Humanity is making sure the veterans get a real taste of the holiday spirit.

From left to right, MJ Talentino, 4, Josette Talentino and Rinnah Talentino, 12, do arts and crafts at the Holiday Family Party at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
From left to right, MJ Talentino, 4, Josette Talentino and Rinnah Talentino, 12, do arts and crafts at the Family Holiday Party at the neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Delcid and 77 other veterans and their families were invited to celebrate the Family Holiday Party on Saturday at the neighborhood Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV is building for them in Santa Clarita off of Centre Pointe Parkway. Fifty-four of those veterans have already moved in while homes are still being built for the remaining 24.

“This is an opportunity for them to come together in a party atmosphere and also supplement a little help for Santa,” said Donna Deutchman, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV.

There was a wide array of activities at the party such as arts and crafts, carnival games, a jolly jumper and even presents to give out to the kids. Most of the presents were supplied by a marine branch of Toys and Tots while community

From right to left, Lindsey Smith, 10, and Karla Valle deliver presents to the veteran neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity SFV/SCV during the Holiday Family Party in Santa Clarita. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
From right to left, Lindsey Smith, 10, and Karla Valle deliver presents to the veteran neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV during the Family Holiday Party in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

members also lent a hand by donating some gifts.

And veterans, such as Nicholas Vannoy, were grateful to be celebrating the holidays the way they were meant to be celebrated.

“I guess that is the American Dream, being able to do something like this for my kids,” he said.

As the holiday party was going on, volunteers were working on completing the last of the houses in the neighborhood so that that the remaining 24 veterans can move in by next year’s holiday season.

nsamuels@signalscv.com

Franck Nataf, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, helps to build the remaining homes in the neighborhood off of Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita that is being built as a veteran community. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Franck Nataf, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, helps to build the remaining homes on Saturday in the neighborhood off of Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita that is being built as a veteran community. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Nikolas Samuels

Nikolas Samuels