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Soldier’s Family Gets Home Decorated For Holidays

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RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WCCO) — While some might think of elves as fictional, a military family in River Falls, Wis. has a decorated house that shows otherwise.

In the midst of a yearlong deployment, Staff Sgt. Joshua Weiss is home for a couple weeks deployment and was there to witness the transformation — thanks to the real-life elves. WCCO-TV was there for the big reveal.

His family won the contest that sent a team of decorators to their home for a holiday makeover. It was a River Falls neighbor that nominated the Weiss family for the competition.

“I thought of them because of Josh being in the military, and he hasn’t been home for Christmas that often,” neighbor Vallerie Lundgren said.

The company running the contest is a franchise called Christmas Decor. It was their River Falls branch that did the decorating.

So, on Tuesday, the American flag that once stood alone in the Weiss yard got a little company. Rows of garland, strings of lights, bows and wreaths kept the “elves” occupied for hours.

“Oh my Gosh, this is so exciting. We’ve never decorated outside before,” said Weiss’ wife, Ann-Marie.

With two little kids running around, Ann-Marie says this has been the toughest deployment so far.

“Like when 5 o’clock rolls around and he’s supposed to be coming home from work. That’s probably the hardest for me,” Ann-Marie said.

Ann-Marie said what gets her through is knowing her husband is doing what he’s always wanted to do.

“No one’s ever asked me to do it. It’s something I just do, so it’s just the way it is,” said Josh.

When it got dark Tuesday night, the decorators revealed a house exterior to the family that matched the cheer felt inside with Josh back home.

Josh is on a yearlong tour in Kuwait, serving on “Operation New Dawn.” He’s spent 15 years in the military.

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