Just one wish—to bring a family together

The Salvation Army turns the dream of a reunion into a reality.

Angela Polsky (l) surrounded by family and friends. To her right is Major Nila Fankhauser, Alaska’s divisional director of social services. Photo by Jenny Ragland


Rosalynn Lasley had one wish for Christmas—to bring her sister, Angela Polsky, and Polksy’s two boys home to Alaska.

As a U.S. Marine stationed near San Diego, Polsky has been away from her family, except for a couple of visits, since joining the Marines seven years ago. She spent last Christmas overseas, away from her children and extended family, and is scheduled to return to Afghanistan again this summer.

Initially, Lasley hoped to win a trip for them through a radio contest, but as the holiday season progressed, she realized that hope was futile. With one last determined effort—believing her prayers would be answered—she turned to her friends and posted on Facebook, asking if anyone might be able to help.

That’s how The Salvation Army learned about the situation.

Debbie Comiskey, director of The Salvation Army Older Alaskans Program in Anchorage and a longtime friend of the family, knew The Salvation Army had an air mileage program to assist families with special needs, so she submitted a request for Lasley. After that, with the approval of Divisional Commander Major George Baker, Jenni Ragland, the division’s associate community relations director, worked with territorial and national headquarters to process the request. The arrangements came together—the family would come home to Anchorage for Christmas.

Polsky and her sons arrived early Christmas Eve morning. She spent the day anxiously waiting to surprise her mother and grandparents, who had no idea that she was home. The reunion was a joyous time for all.

“This expression of support to service members and their families,” said Polsky, “will be something I will never forget, and I hope to teach my children one day about helping others.”

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