Staff Sgt. Ebony Banks, a senior human resources sergeant and Columbia native received a call from President Barack Obama to thank them for their service and wish her and her family a Merry Christmas.
Banks said the president told her he understands how difficult deployments can be when separated from family members, especially during the holidays.
He wanted her to know that she has served her country well and that he is speaking on behalf of a grateful nation when expressing his appreciation.
“It was a great way to start the morning,” said Banks. “He called me by my first name! He said, ‘Hello Ebony.’ It’s something I will never forget.”