Robert Manz, left, and Keng Khang, right, play chess while waiting for their flights to arrive. Other soldiers in photo are Eddison Cardona, far left, and Samantha McVay, center. Manz is traveling to Long Island, NY; Cardona to New Jersey; McVay to Omaha, and Khang to Minneapolis. A US Army spokesman from Ft. Sill said nearly 1,000 troops boarded buses for the trip to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City to catch flights home for the Christmas holidays. Buses filled with soldiers began arriving at the airport after midnight Wednesday and into the pre-dawn hours on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. While waiting to board flights, the troops were treated to food and warm beverages at the YMCA Military Welcome Center at the airport. Soldiers were offered pizza, doughnuts and sub sandwiches, with hot coffee or chocolate, and bottled water. Friendly faces from local organizations were there to greet them and assist them. Volunteers represented several groups, including Blue Star Mothers, Patriot Guard Riders and an organization consisting of Purple Heart recipients. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman