Servicemen's videos send holiday greetings to area families ( with videos)

The holiday greetings were brief, maybe 15 to 20 seconds.

Some were taken outside, like the one in front of a former Iraqi palace.

Others were done in a hallway in Germany.

Betty Highland didn’t care what the background was.

Her son Beau’s message, provided by Joint Hometown News Service, was all that mattered.

“He looked good,” she said. “We were all excited.”

Army Spc. Beau Highland, a 2006 Lakewood Ranch High School alum, was one of five local members of our armed forces whose videos have been posted on Bradenton.com.

Betty Highland’s daughter, Kimberly, downloaded the video on her Droid phone.

“Hello, this is Specialist Beau James Highland, here in Landstuhl, Germany,” says the former Mustangs pitcher and golfer, dressed in an Army camouflage uniform.

“I would just like to say Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to my family back home in Bradenton and I hope ... to see you soon.”

Similar sentiments mark the videos from:

-- Navy Seaman Dennis Prow in Guam, to grandparents Betty and Chester Bailey in Bradenton.

-- USAF Airman Wilfredo Cintron in Iraq, to parents Nancy and Keith Collazo in Bradenton.

-- Army 1st Sgt. Adam Hefflefinger in Iraq to Baghdad, to family and friends in Bradenton and Sarasota.

-- Army Lt. Col. Jeff Nelson in Yongsan, Korea, to family in Sarasota.

A Bayshore High alum, Cintron has been in Iraq for three months. Cintron’s family communicates with him regularly via computer.

“We spoke to him a few days ago, and he said he wished he was with us,” Keith Collazo said.

Highland has been in Germany for the duration of his three-year hitch, which is up in August.

“He called us at Thanksgiving,” his mother said. “When he was done, it was snowing. He never got to see snow until he joined the Army.”

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055.

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