UPDATE: Florida National Guard troops return home!
Plant City, Florida -- Hundreds of members of the National Guard are on their way home for the holidays, thanks to help from 10 News viewers.
If you think the best Christmas gifts come from the North Pole, you may be way off. On Tuesday morning, the best presents will come from Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
That's where 300 men and women from the Florida National Guard boarded buses Monday night. And they're heading to Tampa Bay for a homecoming you made possible.
The soldiers in this unit just spent nearly a year in Qatar, in the Middle East. They came back to American soil on Sunday, but they're still assigned to a base in Mississippi until early next year.
Donations from businesses and 10 News viewers raised the $35,000 the American Legion needed to put them all on charter buses.
Those buses are heading south as we speak, bringing them home to the Bay Area and their families for Christmas.
The first bus is expected in Plant City at around 9:45 Tuesday morning. Buses will then roll into Lake Wales in Polk County just before 10 and Arcadia in DeSoto County right before 11 o'clock.
10 News will have coverage of this Christmas miracle this morning here on wtsp.com and on 10 News at Noon.
Check out some of our most read stories from 2013:
#shortyellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Terrorism Warning: Memo says terrorists practicing dry-runs on Florida flights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Courtroom apology: Woman apologizes for flipping off judge
Weird ice: Strange, giant circles appear on frozen pond
Controversial Club: College student organizes "White Student Union"
CFO Trouble: School administrative chief in trouble over her porn sex blog
Warning Shot Wife: Mother gets 20 years for firing warning shots at abusive husband
Science Arrest: Teen girl arrested over science project explosion
Wait, WHAT?? Dog shoots man in the leg with a handgun
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Travon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here