Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike Burnette, who came up with the “Home for the Holidays” contest, works at the radio station Z-100.2.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike Burnette, who came up with the “Home for the Holidays” contest, works at the radio station Z-100.2. (Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Single servicemembers in the Kaiserslautern area wishing for a visit home this holiday season ought to put those dreams in writing.

For the second year, American Forces Network’s Kaiserslautern-based radio station Z-100.2 is sending a single or unaccompanied servicemember on an all-expenses paid trip to New York City and then on home for Christmas.

Z-100 D.J. Mike Burnette came up with the idea for Operation: Home for the Holidays last year as a way of paying back his loyal listeners.

“I’m always looking for ways not only to promote the radio station but to help the community,” said Burnette, an Air Force technical sergeant.

The station teamed with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and AAFES’ Chrysler New Car Sales office in Kaiserslautern, which are funding the trip to the tune of about $4,000. And it hooked up with New York radio station WHPZ-Z100 — the radio station with the largest audience in America — to add a Big Apple element.

To win a trip, a servicemember who hasn’t been home for at least a year has to write a letter explaining why he or she is the best candidate for a homecoming.

Burnette, AAFES New Car Sales Manager Roy Mair in Vogelweh, and AAFES’ Kaiserslautern/Baumholder area General Manager Gary Burton will pick the winner after reviewing all the letters.

“We’re looking for whatever tugs at our heartstrings the most,” Burnette said. “The three of us have to decide who gives us the greatest reason and who will benefit the most.”

The letters must be in by noon Dec. 10, and Burnette will announce the winner on the air Dec. 11.

The winner will appear on Burnette’s morning radio show and will depart from Frankfurt to New York, where he or she will have a tour, dinner and see a show. The winner also will appear on Elvis Duran’s Z-100 radio show in New York.

More information about the contest is available on the AFN Web site at

Letters may be sent to Letters also may be dropped off at any of the AAFES new car sales offices in the Kaiserslautern area.

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