Local veteran helped deck the halls of the White House for Christmas

Northeast Alabama
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ARAB, Ala. – It’s that time of the year and everyone is getting in the holiday spirit, even the President and First Lady.

Three Tennessee Valley residents just returned from the nation’s capitol, where they decked the halls of the White House.

It’s easy to imagine a bunch of White House staffers decorating the people’s house. But that’s not exactly how it goes.

Randy Harwood, of Arab, is a veteran and one of roughly 70 people to help First Lady Melania Trump execute her theme, Spirit of America.

“Everybody from all 50 states came,” said Harwood. “Everybody was there to represent America.”

Harwood was able to share the moment with two women from Madison.

Harwood spent most of his 10-hour days in the Red Room, which has a sub-theme of family games.

“If one of us thought something would look better a certain way, they listed! They were very good at that,” said Harwood.

After funneling his creative juices into wreaths, It all paid off for Harwood when he had the opportunity to see the First Lady in person.

“She was very sincere in thanking us and how grateful she was for what had been done there,” said Harwood.

The experience was surreal said Harwood. Eventually, the enormity of his accomplishment fell on his shoulders. He was walking through hallways in a building that has helped shape a nation.

“I did get emotional. It was overwhelming,” said Harwood.

The emotion came full-circle when he reached the Gold-Star family tree where he talked with families who lost a service member in the line of duty.

“Their stories…it was amazing. When you see what they’ve lost. And they are there to honor the memory of their loved one,” said Harwood.

The First Lady said it was important to have the entire country represented during the decoration process because it displayed all of the ideals that make this country great.


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