Plane packed full of toys for children displaced by Sandy - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Blue Angels, Marine Toys for Tots pack plane full of toys for children displaced by Sandy

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WASHINGTON -

The Navy calls her "Fat Albert." It is the Blue Angels' support plane - a C-130 arriving from Atlanta with a belly-full of new toys. A great big Santa's sleigh, if you will.

"We have such a connection to this mission today," says pilot Capt. John Hecker. "Because being based in Pensacola, Florida, we deal with hurricanes all the time. We deal with the aftermaths of hurricanes and the rebuilding that comes with that."

At Reagan National Airport Monday afternoon, the Blue Angels are helping the Marines Toys for Tots program collect hundreds of gifts for children in New York and New Jersey whose lives were upended by Superstorm Sandy.

"We have to make sure that every kid, every child, gets a toy for Christmas," says Marine SSgt. Joel Vazquez, Toys For Tots coordinator for the Washington, D.C. area. "But it's out there. People know about it and the support is there. So we're thankful for that."

Volunteers are helping to stack the toys onto pallets that will be put on board the plane. Rep. Jon Runyan, who represents part of the Jersey shore in Congress, is also lending a hand.

"You still have people that haven't been able to go back to their homes and see what's left," Runyan tells us. "And that's how compromised their infrastructure is, so it's going to be a multi-year thing. It's going to be three, four, maybe five years before we get back on our feet."


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