Steve Ribovich and Jack Callahan are former Marines. Their mission on a frigid, dark evening in December, was to deliver Toys for Tots.
Their mission covered many rough miles, and they set out early that morning from Ralston. They made stops at Troy, Canton, Liberty and, finally, Blossburg.
The two aging men served their country many years ago.
Ribovich served in the U.S, Marines for five years, and Callahan served four years.
Although both left the Marines decades ago, they still are serving their country as they help out with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
Ribovich summed up their mission.
"We had 76 children on our list this year and over $4,000 was spent on gifts for them," he said.
"The ladies do all the hard work," he added, admirably. "They select, buy and wrap all the presents for the children. Then we get the easy job. We deliver them."
Callahan was the quieter of the two but had the biggest smile when he spoke of the children who would receive the gifts they brought in.
Callahan has volunteered with the Toys for Tots program for 10 years. Ribovich started helping in 1982.
"Thirty years later and I still enjoy doing this," Ribovich pointed out.
"We aren't getting any younger and we are starting to slow down, but no new members are joining us to help with this program," he added.
Callahan agreed there is a big need. The program needs new men to come forward and take over to make sure the program continues in their area.
"If we do not get some new members, this could be the last year that our group does this, but I sure hope it isn't," Ribovich said as he looked over at the Christmas tree beside him.
As both men got ready to leave for their long trip back home there were jokes, handshakes and shared admiration. They had brought not only presents, but also offered a sense of hope, surprise and love to the children - something an old Marine can be proud to deliver.