Today is one of the busiest days of the year at Lambert St. Louis International Airport. Operation Block Leave, will send thousands of troops from Fort Leonard Wood through the airport today as they head home for the holidays. And they'll pass through the James S. McDonnell USO along the way.
This year, as in every year, the USO and area businesses have teamed up to throw them a big party.
Former Marine and Iran Embassy hostage, Rocky Sickmann was there, representing one of the sponsor, Anheuser-Busch.
Sickmann told Fox 2 News that the sacrifices our military personnel make for the sake of our freedom shouldn't be forgotten, especially at the holidays. "This USO here, is a small way for us to say thank you, as they go back home to enjoy their holiday season," Sickmann said.
The soldiers arrived at the airport to find food, music and other comforts as they wait for their planes home.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Alexander Steen scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves against his former team to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
St. Louis broke a two-game losing streak and improved to 14-3-2 at home.
Montreal has lost four of six.
Steen, who signed a three-year, $17.4 million extension earlier in the day, has 24 goals, tying his career high set in 2009-2010.
Halak improved to 4-0 against the Canadiens, who traded him to St. Louis on June 17, 2010. He is 17-6-2 this season.
Chris Stewart, Jaden Schwartz and Maxim Lapierre also scored for St. Louis. T.J. Oshie added two assists.
Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal, which began a season-high six-game road trip. It was his first goal in 12 games.
Steen started a three-goal outburst in the first period for the Blues with a short-handed goal at 4:20.
He scored again at 7:55 to make it 2-0 with his 24th goal. Steen is second in the league in goals behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who has 28.
Stewart capped the early blitz with his 10th goal of the season at 13:33. It was his fifth in as many games. The Blues had been outscored in 6-1 in the first period in their three previous games.
Montreal goalie Carey Price gave up three goals on the first eight shots and fell to 16-11-2.
Notes: Montreal C Daniel Briere was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. ... Schwartz returned to the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. ... The Blues beat Montreal 4-1 in the teams' previous meeting in St. Louis on March 10, 2011. ... The Blues will play 12 of their next 13 games against Western Conference opponents. ... St. Louis LW Brenden Morrow picked up his 300th career assist on Stewart's first-period goal. ... Montreal D Alexei Emelin was on the ice for all three of the Blues' first-period goals. ... The Canadiens' previous win over St. Louis came on Jan. 4, 2007.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers responsible for the budget have an agreement on a revenue estimate for next year's budget but say Gov. Jay Nixon did not sign off on it.
Legislative budget leaders and the governor typically reach a revenue estimate that is the foundation for the budget. Agreeing how much money is available lets officials focus on how to spend that money.
On Thursday, House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer said they will use an estimate of 4.2 percent growth in revenues. The lawmakers say Nixon's office sought an estimate they do not think can be supported.
Nixon says he will propose a "fiscally responsible budget." He says the economy is gaining steam and officials have an opportunity to invest in students and schools.