NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) – 13News Now is proud to present our special program, the 31st Annual Holiday Salute.

Mike Gooding, Regina Mobley and Lucy Bustamante do their best to bridge the miles between the forward-deployed troops and their loved ones back on the home front, and to connect the generations.

This year, we focus primarily on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.

Mike concentrates on the thousands of men and women serving aboard the Ike, plus he visits with the men and women of Air Wing Three.

Regina tells the amazing story of the ship-building Butler family, who through the generations, has designed, constructed and maintained Navy warships at Newport News Shipbuilding dating all the way back to 1886.

Lucy takes a special look at our heroes from the past, Gold Star families, and the on-going effort to make sure they are never forgotten at the holidays, through campaigns conducted by local volunteers, to ensure that all deceased veterans have wreaths placed upon their graves.

Our setting this year for the show is aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. And, the United State Fleet Forces Band puts in an important and heart-felt holiday appearance as well.

Holiday Salute debuted on Saturday, Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. and is scheduled to re-broadcast on:

Sunday, December 25th, 1 p.m.- 1:30 p.m.

Monday, January 2nd, 4:30 p.m.- 5 p.m. (after football).

Holiday Salute first aired in 1986. The show has spanned seminal events in the late-20th and early-21st centuries, including the Cold War, Operation Desert Storm, the Bosnia and Kosovo wars, 9/11, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and now: Operation Inherent Resolve. The show has encompassed the administrations of five commanders-in-chief: Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. All the while, telling the story through the eyes of local people on the front lines, and, their waiting families back home in Hampton Roads.

Part 2: 31st Annual Holiday Salute

Part 3: 31st Annual Holiday Salute

Part 4: 31st Annual Holiday Salute