Wichita man surprises military family with Christmas display


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita man brightened up the holidays for a local military family, giving them a gift they never expected.

Every Christmas, Jordan Whitehead and his wife try do something extra special for someone in need. This year, they decided to pay it forward and serve those who serve our country.

“My one regret I do have is I never served my country and this year I really wanted to do something for someone who was over, keeping me safe and can’t hang his Christmas lights this year,” said Jordan Whitehead.

Whitehead put a post on Facebook asking if there was a military family in need of Christmas decorations. An old friend then reached out to Whitehead and gave him Ashley Pope’s information.

“She got me in touch with Ashley and now, here, we are and we came and did her lights,” he said.

Pope’s husband and the father of her two young girls is an Air Force Staff Sergeant. He is currently deployed in the Middle East.

“It’s been rough, it’s been hard and we miss him,” Pope said. “This is our fourth deployment we have been in, but the first with Christmas and everything.”

Whitehead, a stranger to the Popes, decided to give the family an early holiday gift. He and one of his friends donated about $400 worth of lights and about two hours of time. They decorated the Pope’s home, located on the McConnell Air Force Base, with Christmas lights for the first time.

“I thought that was a way I could bring some joy to his family and really it brought more joy to me and my family to do it than it did probably to the Pope family,” Whitehead said.

“When we come home from work and we see the Christmas lights my daughter is like those are the brightest, biggest Christmas lights on base and I know my daddy can see them,” Pope said.

While Pope’s husband may not be able to see the display in person, she said he can feel the joy the lights have brought to his family.

“It just blew me away how much one stranger, now I call a friend, could do this for our family,” Pope said. “It’s like he brought Christmas to us.”

“Her husband contacted me and thanked me form overseas and I told him hopefully next year you can put them up,” Whitehead said.

Pope is expected to return back to Wichita in April. He has requested Whitehead to be at the airport when he returns so he can officially thank him.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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