AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Matt Redding is a combat-wounded Army veteran in North Augusta who served multiple deployments during his time in the military.
He is now medically retired, but suffers from PTSD, MS and TBI. His wife, Felicia, is a 1st grade teacher and their son, William, has autism.
It is physically and financially difficult for them to decorate for the holidays, which is why they were nominated by Felicia’s mother for a local business’s Decorated Family program.
One or two veteran families are chosen in each Christmas Decor franchise area each year after members of the community nominate them.
The company has participated in this nationwide program for around eight years now.
“A lot of times it’s family members or close friends that nominate them,” said Kyle Flanagan, the owner of Christmas Decor of Augusta. “To be honest, we really as a team decide. We sometimes get more nominations than others, and we just sit there as a team and decide who we think would benefit the most from it.”
The Christmas Decor crew got to the house a little before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning to start decorating. They were finished by 12:30.
The big reveal for William, Felicia and her parents was at 5:30 that night.
“We’re just very thankful for a pretty large customer base in the CSRA and we’re very thankful for that because our customers are who really allow us to get out and do things like this,” Flanagan said. “They support us, and we’re able to support people in the community because of it.”
The decorators love every second of it, too.
“It’s incredible. Definitely,” said Brett Castle, who works at Christmas Decor of Augusta. “We met the guy earlier, you can definitely see that he was struggling and in need, so it was a really cool opportunity to just give to them.”
But no one loved it as much as William and Felicia.
“It made me smile. I was eating ice cream, and I’m like ‘okay, let’s go home.’ Then, I’m like whaaaat. I’m like Kevin from Home Alone,” William said with a shocked face.
“He didn’t know. We kept it from him, so he was very surprised,” Felicia said.
Both were blown away and happy to have a decorated house for Christmas. Workers at the company said seeing the reaction on the family’s faces was prices, and it means everything to them to give back to those who sacrificed everything for our country.
You can nominate someone for next year at christmasdecor.net.