Nearly 1,700 children and spouses of fallen U.S. military boarded the Snowball Express Friday morning.
The journey kicked off in Nashville, with a farewell party to some 100 people.
Their all-expenses-paid journey to Dallas/Fort Worth is part of the seventh annual Snowball Express.
The organization hopes to bring some enjoyment and healing for the families.
Krystal Chaney told Nashville's News 2, "I think it helps create memories for my little boy, which is healing for him and me."
Mandy Pott's children lost their father last year.
"It definitely has been a rough year and this is something they have been looking forward to," she explained.
American Airlines and American Eagle, via the American Airlines Kids In NeedSM program, annually partner with Snowball Express to fly the children and spouses to Dallas/Fort Worth.
While there they will participate in a series of activities including a visit to the AT&T Performing Arts Center for the annual tree-lighting celebration, participation in the Dallas Children's Parade and visits to Six Flags Over Texas, the Fort Worth Stockyards and Billy Bob's, the renowned Texas honkytonk, for a private rodeo and a concert by Academy Award-nominated actor Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.
Snowball Express is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring hope, joy and new memories to the children who have lost a parent on active duty since September 11, 2001.