Fort Wayne International Airport
Airport Authority


Fort Wayne- Allen County Airport Authority and WANE 15 Partner to Bring Soldiers “Home for the Holidays”

Fort Wayne- Allen County Airport Authority and WANE 15 Partner to Bring Soldiers “Home for the Holidays”

Fort Wayne, Ind. – The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) and WANE 15 are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 “Home for the Holidays” contest. The two organizations partnered to bring two soldiers home for the holiday season.

In an appeal to local military families, FWACAA and WANE 15 put out a call for active military families to submit a short essay highlighting why their serviceman or woman deserved to be brought home for the holidays. Out of all of the submissions received, the Airport Authority and WANE 15 chose two soldiers to bring home to enjoy the holidays with their families.

Gage Phillips is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps and will be making the trip home to Fort Wayne from his station in Honolulu, Hawaii. He will arrive at Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 2pm. His grandfather, a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, is currently on dialysis and in need of a kidney transplant. He is extremely excited to see Gage.

Daniel Hockenberry, who serves in the United States Air Force, will be coming home from Great Falls, Montana. He will arrive on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at 5pm to ring in the New Year with his mother. Daniel just completed a deployment in Japan and hasn’t been able to come home in 4 years.

“The Airport Authority is honored to be able to bring home soldiers for the holidays,” said Scott Hinderman, Executive Director. “We are so appreciative for everything men and women in the armed forces do for us and the sacrifices that they (and their family members) make for our great nation. It is the least we can do.”

In a twist of events in the selection process, an anonymous Fort Wayne resident was touched by WANE 15 and the Airport Authority’s generosity in bringing home two soldiers, that he wanted to help to bring home an additional soldier. Due to his generosity, a third serviceman will be able to fly home for Christmas.

Spencer Myers, who is currently serving in the United States Army, will be able to fly home on Thursday, December 20 at 11:30am to spend Christmas with his fiancé, who is expecting their child. He will be deployed in January and they are not sure where he will be sent to or how long he will be gone.

“I would like to thank [the donor] for your generosity, to care about my young soldier and all soldiers who give all they have to protect each and every one of us,” said Kathy Cooper, grandmother of Spencer Myers. “[My grandson] is able to come home and will be marrying the love of his life while he is home for Christmas. Saying thank you seems like so little, but it truly comes from my heart.”

To stay up to date with each story, watch WANE 15 and follow FWA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) was created in 1985 and is responsible for managing the Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field Airport. The airport authority is governed by a six-member board appointed by the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. Serving northeast Indiana and the surrounding region, FWA offers nonstop service to 14 cities on four airlines. In 2019, FWA served 791,810 passengers –the tenth year of consecutive growth. As a result of FWACAA’s commitment to customer service, Fort Wayne International Airport was recognized by USA Today as one of the friendliest airports in the nation. For more information about the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, visit

Social Share