Layaway Christmas gifts paid in full for military families at Langley Air Force Base

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HAMPTON, Va. - Ten shopping carts filled with toys rolled into the Army and Air Force Exchange Service at Langley Air Force Base on Thursday, shocking 10 military families who found their holiday layaway items already wrapped and ready to put under the tree.

Military families receiving their surprise from Pay Away the Layaway at the Air Force Exchange Service on Langley Air Force Base

The big surprise was planned between the military base exchange and national nonprofit organization Pay Away the Layaway.

The organization paid off layaway balances totaling more than $1,000.

It was a huge financial relief for many.

Navy veteran Saundra Diggs told News 3, "We didn't even have a tree; we really didn't know how we were going to get our layaway out for the holidays."

A Navy veteran said that she has three grandchildren that are 3-and-a-half years old.

The exchange at Langley was the only one chosen on the East Coast to host the surprise.

"They'll have the whole month of December if they wanted to buy additional gifts or if they need those funds for other items, it will be available," said Army and Air Force Exchange Service General Manager Amanda Hartfield.

The generous payment has families even more enthused for Christmas and looking forward to a stress-free holiday.

"I'm very happy that's one less bill I have to pay!" said Army veteran Gina Wilson.

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