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Family excited to have their Marines ‘Home for the Holidays’

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Home for the holidays. With parents finishing up their shopping amidst the holiday madness, sometimes the best gift is being with your loved ones. 

Locals News 8 and Hamlet Homes came together to make Christmas memorable for one local family.

Linda Larsen introduces us to the winner of this year's 'Home for the Holidays.' 

"We are so grateful and so thankful that Channel 8 has ordered this for two of the best kids on the planet."

No gift means quite as much as being with loved ones for the holidays. That's the case for Kiano and Emili. They're serving in the Marines in San Diego. But thanks to Local News 8, they'll be home for the holidays.

"It means a lot. It really means a lot that they get to come home and that channel eight is helping make that possible," Kiano's mom Natalie Morgan said.

Emili and Kiano's love story began right here in southeast Idaho.

"They met the first day of math class in ninth grade and he asked her on a date for homecoming. And that was where their relationship began. It was his first date," Morgan said.

They were together through high school Emili as a competitive cheerleader and Kiano as a two-time state champion football player. Emili's sister Olivia says they have always supported each other.

"Choose either a horseback riding, cheering homework she was always a straight-A student. Always," Olivia said.

So as Emili and Kiano's love grew stronger, they started making some plans for the future.

"They both had the goal set in mind that they wanted to be Marines, but they wanted to do it together, and so their senior year, they got married. They had to call out a school on a Tuesday afternoon to get married," Morgan said.

This Christmas will be particularly sweet this year because her sister will have a brand-new baby

"And she's gonna be an aunt," Olivia said. "She's very excited."

Kiano's mom is so proud of her son's service but understands the danger they both are in.

"It's incredibly scary knowing that that's what they're signing up for. And they were super excited about it. They know the risks, but they work really, really hard and are very, very proud to be Marines," she said.

Both families will be coming together to enjoy this precious time before being apart and in harm's way.

"It's really important. Emili's on a ship right now, she'll be home for a few days, and then in January, she'll ship out to Gaza. I know that they need to go. They know that they need to go. "

So when the chance comes to share those special moments, it means everything.

"I don't want to say it out loud, but I have to. Every chance that we get to see the kids and they're not kids. They're adults. They're in the service. You can't help but think that what if this is last time and that's true for anybody, but it's especially critical to have the kids home so they can be with their family and friends. It boosts their morale, it keeps them going. They miss home all the time," Morgan said.

Kiana with Emili, we here at Local News 8 thank you for your service, and we are proud to be a part of your being home for the holidays.

Article Topic Follows: Holidays

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Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8.


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