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Winning essay brings military parent home for the holidays

A Lexington Elementary fifth-grader’s father will spend the Christmas holiday with his family after his daughter won a contest for military families.

Sofia E. Monaco entered an essay contest sponsored by the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, hoping to inspire the judges with her words. As winner of the “Home for the Holidays” contest, Monaco won a round-trip ticket to bring her father home from Korea for Christmas.

Monaco penned her essay on behalf of her mother and younger sister, Sadie, who daily asks when her dad will be home to stay.

“My daddy takes care of other people and spends his free time in Korea volunteering and making his community a better place to live,” Monaco wrote. “He works very hard, and I know he loves his job and America so much.”

Air Force Staff Sgt. Gus Monaco, deployed since February, will spend two weeks at home before returning to Korea to finish his assignment.

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