Seven-year old Corben Phillips gives a Marines Master Sergeant a high-five on his way to the gate for American Airlines annual Snowball Express.

Eleven families from St. Louis and Illinois will share a special Christmas celebration thanks to American Airlines’ Snowball Express. Snowball Express started in 2006 to provide hope and new memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11. This year, eighteen children from the St. Louis and Metro East area will enjoy a four- day Christmas party with other families of fallen heroes in Dallas, Texas. Organizers say the main goal is to honor the sacrifice the families of the fallen have made and make sure that children who lost a parent can connect with other children who are experiencing the same. This is Corben Phillips (pictured) second year attending the Snowball Express. Corben’s dad was killed in 2012.